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Bruins’ Milan Lucic pleads not guilty to assault and battery charge; released on personal recognizance

Bruins player Milan Lucic was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Bruins winger Milan Lucic pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a domestic-violence charge and was warned not to harm his wife and to avoid alcohol while free as the case moves forward.

Dressed in a black suit, Lucic, 35, stood quietly beside his lawyer during his arraignment in Boston Municipal Court, speaking only once when he responded to the judge, saying, “good morning.”

The court entered a plea of not guilty on Lucic’s behalf on a single count of assault and battery on a family member. He was arrested early Saturday morning at the North End condominium where he lives with his wife after she called police and said he tried to choke her after coming home drunk and starting an argument, according to court records.


Lucic, who has been on indefinite leave from the Bruins since his arrest, was released on personal recognizance by Judge James Stanton, who told him to abide by certain conditions: “no abuse of the complaining witness” and “refrain from alcohol during the pendency of the case.”

Outside the courtroom after the arraignment, Lucic’s attorney Gary Pelletier declined to comment on the details of the case, saying, “We’re at a very early stage.”

When asked if Lucic choked his wife, Pelletier said, “He did not.”

Bruins player Milan Lucic in court on Tuesday.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

During the brief hearing, Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Marc Tohme read from a police report that detailed the allegations against Lucic and had been released Monday. Lucic’s wife told police that the couple got into a verbal argument around 1 a.m. Saturday after he returned home from a night out and couldn’t find his phone, according to the report. Lucic’s wife called 911 and said her husband “attempted to choke her,” Tohme said in court.

When police arrived, she met them in the lobby of the Battery Street building and told officers that Lucic had been drinking and “began yelling at her, demanding his phone back, believing she had hidden the phone,” according to the report.


She told police that she told Lucic she didn’t have his phone or know where it was and walked away from him. Then he allegedly “grabbed her by the hair and pulled her backwards,” according to the report.

Tohme said Lucic’s wife told police that Lucic said she was “not going anywhere.”

One of the officers reported he “observed redness” on her chest. Tohme said the officer asked if Lucic had attempted to strangle her, and she said he did not.

She declined medical attention and was provided with information about her right to a restraining order under the state’s domestic violence protection law, according to the police report.

After speaking with Lucic’s wife, officers went to the apartment and spoke with Lucic, who “appeared intoxicated when he answered the door,” police wrote in the report.

“He stated to officers nothing happened and did not provide an explanation,” the report said.

Police checked to see if Lucic had any past criminal charges or outstanding restraining orders and did not find any, police wrote.

Lucic was cooperative when police told him he was going to be arrested on a domestic violence charge, the report said. When he was taken to a bedroom to get some clothes, officers saw a broken lamp on a nightstand and shards of what appeared to a small amount of glass on the floor.


Lucic “stated that it was broken shards of plastic,” according to the report.

The National Hockey League website lists Lucic as 6 feet 3 inches, 236 pounds.

The Bruins said Saturday that Lucic was taking an “indefinite leave of absence from the team.”

“The Boston Bruins have been in communication with the Lucic family, offering our support and assistance,” the team said in a statement Tuesday evening. “The organization is supportive of Milan’s decision to enter the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance program. He remains on an indefinite leave of absence from the team. With respect to both his ongoing rehabilitation and the legal process, we will have no further comment at this time.”

In 2011, police went to Commercial Street in the North End around 1:30 a.m. after Lucic was seen standing over his then-girlfriend while she lay on the ground, according to a police report. Lucic was not arrested and both people said the incident was a misunderstanding.

“Ppl can believe whatever but I assure you this was blown out of cntrl,’” Lucic’s girlfriend posted on Twitter at the time. “Either way Milan is a class act and the way he was portrayed and the situation was terrible!”

Lucic’s marketing representative, Cleon Daskalakis, told the Globe at the time that the couple had an argument but that it wasn’t violent.

The Bruins selected Lucic in the second round of the 2006 NHL Draft. He played his first game for the team in 2007 and stayed with Boston until 2015. He was one of the stars of the 2011 Stanley Cup-winning team. From 2015-23, he spent time with the Kings, Oilers, and Flames.


Lucic returned to the Bruins in July on a one-year, $1 million contract. Lucic has not played since Oct. 21, when he injured his foot. He had been eligible to return Saturday against the Canadiens, but Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said he was behind in his rehab and would probably not play.

He’s next due in court Jan. 19, when he will be allowed to appear remotely. The charge of assault and battery on a family member carries a maximum sentence of 2.5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

The National Domestic Violence hotline (1-800-799-7233) and the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence hotline (1-877-785-2020) are available to connect people with services, including legal assistance, medical care, and counseling.

Globe correspondent Talia Lissauer and Travis Andersen of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.

Sean Cotter can be reached at him @cotterreporter. John R. Ellement can be reached at Follow him @JREbosglobe.