As many other members of the Bruins' core of key players left to play for teams in European pro leagues during the NHL lockout — including the likes of Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and Tuukka Rask — Milan Lucic opted to stay home.

Lucic knew very well this might not be the optimum decision from a pure hockey standpoint. But the winger also knew there is more to life than just hockey.

And for a 24-year-old newlywed, whose wife, Brittany, is due with the couple's first child in a couple of weeks, the real-world priority was staying home.

"I was comfortable, I'd say 99 percent comfortable, with not going to play," Lucic said after yesterday's informal B's skate at Boston University. "It wasn't mandatory to play in Europe, and with my whole situation, with (Brittany) being pregnant with our first child, sometimes there's things in life that are more important."

Lucic did check out the possibilities in Europe. He said he had job offers from two or three teams in the KHL, and teammate Dennis Seidenberg's German league team (Adler Mannheim), and Seguin's Swiss club (EHC Biel) also showed interest in his services. But his choice from the start was to stay here, skating and working out the best he could without knowing when, or if, there would be a season.

"If (Brittany) wasn't pregnant, it would have been a cool experience and I probably would have gone," Lucic said. "But with this circumstance it was great that I was able to be around and support her — because these last three years that she's been with me in Boston, she's been my support. It's kind of nice to return the favor."