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Power forward Milan Lucic was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for a first-round draft pick, 13th overall, goaltender Martin Jones and prospect Colin Miller.Gene J. Puskar/The Associated Press

A couple of days ago, Milan Lucic happened to be just down the road from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, visiting Disneyland with his oldest daughter – their first visit to the happiest place on Earth.

"It would have been nice to get the news while I was down there," Lucic said on a conference call with reporters Friday after being traded to the Los Angeles Kings by the Boston Bruins. "I could have stayed and enjoyed the start of being a King a little bit more."

Lucic was a victim of the Bruins' unexpected purge. In a 24-hour period, they traded Lucic to the Kings, Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames and Carl Soderberg to the Colorado Avalanche. So while the Bruins are going down a rebuilding path, the Kings are muscling up, trying to take another shot at a championship, after unexpectedly missing the playoffs this season.

Just about everybody's who followed him since he turned pro knows that Lucic has a big personality, which should help him fit in well with a Kings team that has won two of the past four Stanley Cups.

Lucic said it was difficult to leave Boston, where he went as a 19-year-old and grew up as a person and a player. Now he gets a chance with in L.A. where his big-bodied style should mesh nicely with the type of hockey coach Darryl Sutter likes to play.

The Kings gave up a first-round draft choice, plus back-up goaltender Martin Jones and defensive prospect Colin Miller, to land Lucic, who has a year remaining on his contract. Because the Kings have some salary-cap issues, the Bruins agreed to retain $2.75-million (U.S.) of the $6-million Lucic is owed for next season, after which he will become an unrestricted free agent.

"The most exciting thing about moving on from Boston is going to a team that already knows how to win," Lucic said. "They're not learning how to win, or trying to make that step to win a Stanley Cup. They already know how to do that. The possibility of playing with two really great players like [Anze] Kopitar and [Marian] Gaborik is a really exciting feeling.

"I get to be part of an organization that has a chance to win another Stanley Cup. If you look at their roster right now, we're definitely in the top two or three in the league as contenders. I'm just going to go there and be myself and be the best player I can for the team."

Unlike many players adjusting to life with a new team, Lucic was already referring to the Kings as "we" within a few hours of joining the team. He will replace Justin Williams on the Kings' roster – Williams is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent and is unlikely to re-sign there. The same also goes for centre Jarret Stoll.

There had been speculation linking Lucic to both the Vancouver Canucks, his hometown team, and to the Edmonton Oilers, which is now being run by Peter Chiarelli, the Bruins' former general manager. But L.A. ended up with the winning bid and, according to general manager Dean Lombardi, it was only possible because winger Tyler Toffoli accepted a two-year bridge contract worth a comparatively modest $6.5-million ($2.6-million the first year, $3.9-million the second). The Kings had feared that Toffoli might receive an offer sheet as a restricted free agent, and so needed to be creative with their money-management skills.

Lucic said he "was hearing and reading everything on Twitter" during the last few days. "A lot of the time, they're just rumours," Lucic explained, "but with that many speculations, there has to be some kind of truth behind it. I've had a lot of mixed emotions in the last 48 hours. I had that nervous/anxious/excited/sad all-in-one feeling going on in my stomach, especially this morning, like something big was going to happen.

"With the change in GMs with the Bruins, you never know what's going to happen moving forward. You saw obviously today, the Bruins made some pretty big changes."

Weirdly, the Kings had a first-round draft choice to offer only because they missed the playoffs. In March, they'd traded a No. 1 pick to the Carolina Hurricanes to rent Andrej Sekera, but the pick was lottery-protected. Instead, Carolina now gets L.A.'s 2016 first-rounder.

Boston GM Don Sweeney said the new-look Bruins will be a younger team next year, but added: "Our expectations are to make the playoffs, absolutely."

The Lucic family should be able to make the transition pretty easily.

"It looks like I might have to buy an annual [Disneyland] pass now," Lucic said with a laugh.