Two days after telling reporters he was the victim of an unprovoked attack at a nightclub in his hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, and saying he had "no reason left to defend" the city, Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic softened his stance.
"This has been a very difficult week for me given the recent events that took place in my hometown of Vancouver," he said in a statement released by the team Wednesday. "As I have had more time to think I want to make it clear that regardless of what has happened, I am still -- and always will be -- proud to be from there. It is home.
"While the actions of a few individuals have deeply upset me and will impact the time I spend downtown going forward, I will not let those incidents diminish the love and pride I have for the city as a whole. This will be my final comment on this subject."
Lucic, 25, said the incident happened Saturday night, following his team's 6-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. He said he was attacked twice by the same man and is pursuing legal action.
"I have no reason left to defend my city and the people in my city," Lucic said Monday. "I'm disgusted and outraged that it had to come to something like that. As far as that goes, other than being at Rogers Arena, no one will ever see me in downtown Vancouver ever again."
This was not the first time Lucic faced off-ice issues in Vancouver because he plays for the Bruins.
After Boston won the Stanley Cup by defeating the Canucks at Rogers Arena in 2011, Lucic's grandparents, parents and other family members were harassed, he said, and the church his family belongs to was vandalized.
"That's one of the worst parts -- it's in my hometown -- and going back to the spray painting of the church and my grandparents, parents and family getting harassed during the finals against the Canucks in 2011, and now it's escalated to a point where I get attacked for minding my own business," he said.
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald was used in this report.