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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Oilers looking at “sweetening the pot” on Milan Lucic trade

More smoke rose from the kindling that is the Milan Lucic trade rumours after Frank Seravalli jumped on Lowetide’s radio show to talk a little Oilers. According to the insider, the Edmonton Oilers are not only shopping the forward but could also be willing to add to a deal that would send Milan Lucic out of town.

Over the past couple of days, Milan Lucic’s name has been flying around the Internet in trade rumours like a turd in a tornado. Okay, so they’re not necessarily trade rumours just yet, but there’s definitely something going with Sergeant Swagger on the leaving Edmonton front. On Wednesday, Gregor mentioned on his show that he had heard Lucic would be willing to wave his no-move clause provided that the landing spot worked out for him and his family. With a no-move clause, Lucic gets to pick where he wants to go and that might mean a change of address is coming.

Now, does such a location that he loves and that loves him back even exist? I’m not sure, but the wheels seem to be in motion here. On top of Gregor’s heater, TSN threw Lucic up on their trade board which added another layer to the dip. So when Frank Seravalli hit the airwaves with Lowetide, you knew that LT was going to ask him about the rumours and what in the double heck is going on here:

“My understanding, and the reason that Milan Lucic is on our trade list, is because (the Oilers) are trying and talking to teams about potentially taking another contract back even if that means sweetening the pot with a pick or some other roster player in order to make it happen.”

Sweeten the pot, huh? What does that mean exactly? Massage? Nudes from MacT? Edible arrangement? Pick? Prospect? Thumb drive full of Bitcoin? WHAT IS IT!? *clears throat* Shed some light please, sir. I need to know how likely this thing is of going through.

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“(The Oilers) are pushing, or are at least doing their due diligence and working to try and move on from Milan Lucic if they can.”

Whoa, mama. The fox is in the henhouse and it is not a drill. Please keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times. This thing could actually happen, huh? But wait, let’s calm ourselves down here for a minute. Whether you want this deal to happen or not, nothing has happened apart from some chatter so there’s no reason to get worked up. Pull yourself together, Baggy. Wooooosah. I’m sorry. Go on, Frank.

“I just don’t know that it’s going to happen with that much term left. It’s going to be a really tough one to do.”

Wait what? I don’t get it. What would be so hard about trading a guy that underperformed with an eternity left on his monster contract that also has a no-move clause attached to it? Oh right. All of that. I understand. So maybe this thing isn’t a lock to get done then, huh?

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WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

I have to admit, all of this Lucic trade stuff is pretty weird to watch. Less than two years after signing a mammoth contract with the accompanying no-move clause, we’re already talking about trading Milan Lucic. I don’t think it’s weird because the guy could possibly get traded, but rather because Peter Chiarelli is still the GM and would be the one doing it. Looch and Swag Daddy go back to their Boston Cup days and it seems crazy that Chiarelli would move on from the veteran so quickly after signing him to the long-term deal that was supposed to bring some swagger back to Oil Country.

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To me, and this is just my opinion, I believe that Lucic asked for a trade and I’d also guess that Chiarelli has the list of teams that he’d waive to go to. Why else would these rumours start coming out? It’s either that he asked for a trade or that the other guys on the team hated him, because I can’t see it being Chiarelli that’s quitting on Lucic this early. Not with their history. Not after one bad season without giving him a chance to rebound. After doing some snooping, to me, it seems more likely that the big man is looking for greener pastures, be it for opportunity or otherwise. I think the fact that the Oilers are trying to move him has more to do with Chiarelli doing Lucic a solid than it is about believing that he can bounce back or not. Again, I have nothing to base that on other than what I’ve heard and what I’ve read.

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But you know, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you thought they would. Sometimes you buy a pair of jeans that feel great for the first year you have them but then life moves forward, and all of a sudden those jeans fall out of fashion, ya dig? Whether you’re into the idea of trading Lucic or not, it will interesting to see what happens with his name circling the hockey world as a trade option, especially as we get closer towards the NHL Draft. Though, as both Gregor and Seravalli said, Milan Lucic ultimately controls what happens here as he has the kill card for any deal, if there is even a deal out there to kill. Considering the Oilers are shopping him and the relationship they formed from their time in Boston, I’d guess that Peter Chiarelli already knows his options.

LUCIC AS AN OILER SO FAR

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP G A Pts PIM
2016-17 Oilers NHL 82 23 27 50 50 -3 13 2 4 6 20
2017-18 Oilers NHL 82 10 24 34 80 -12
NHL Totals 811 192 289 481 981 114 28 42 70 179

  • bwar

    As long as we keep half his contract, take back even more contract in return, give up picks, prospects and roster players, the Oiler’s might be able to get something done….

    Prepare for our yearly summertime fleecing Oiler’s fans!

  • Rusty Patenaude

    Not the time to trade him. The cost of trading Lucic after an awful season just makes no sense. I think he will rebound and have a much better season.

  • Johnnyo

    This will be an unpopular POV so feel free to trash and skip reading…

    This appears to be the Oilers chasing the “winner” yet again. Team used to be small and fast, but that couldn’t win against big and skilled. Team gets big and skilled, but that can’t win against small and fast.

    Lucic had a bad year. Worst year since rookie season. Moving him out now, unless he’s driving the bus because he no longer wants to be in Edmonton, feels like a losing position to me.

    If he’s asked for a trade, tell him he’s stuck in Edmonton until a trade that makes sense for Edmonton arises– that won’t happen until he has some success. That’s the time to make decisions.

  • KMA

    This was a mistake from the start. Chia royally f’d up. There is absolutely no reason for Chia to still be employed and for Lucic to be playing in the NHL.

  • Oilman99

    This is the ticket to escape from cap hell. All the Oilers problems for the next two or three years could be erased. No matter how much he improves next season, Lucic will never be a $6million dollar player due to his foot speed.

      • Rock11

        Sure but the Oilers have Lucic, Russell, Drai, Kassian, Sekera, and Strome(assuming he gets $3m+). If those guys were being paid what they were worth then the Oilers could be in the running for Carlson or Neal or JVR to improve the team using nothing but money. But alas Chiarelli keeps forgetting that he can actually present a counter-offer to an agent and here we are.

        • OilersGM

          Drai is worth every penny, people need to get off his back. He is the second best player on the team by far and his contract will be a bargain in a year or so having said that Chiarelli panicked and should’ve compared his contract to that of Kuznetsov, Mackinnon, Scheifele, Monahan, Gaudreau Tarasenko. But Drai’s contract is the least of this teams problems.

          • btrain

            There is nothing not to like about Drai but he got as much as he could of expected following a promising season when Chia should have had the upper hand in negotiations. It was an opportunity to lock up a value contract and instead it ended up at the upper threshold of fair and the bottom threshold of overpay. Adding that to all the others rich contracts Chia has given out and that is the problem. Can’t just look at it in isolation.

        • Svart kaffe

          Are you suggesting Neal, Carlson and JVR won’t be overpaid on their next contracts? And they would gladly take a cut to get the opportunity to come to Edmonton with their winning culture and supporting fans?

        • JimmyV1965

          I frickin love this. If the Oilers didn’t overpay all these players then we would have the cap space to overpay some other high profile UFA. Holy crap that was funny.

        • ed from edmonton

          I would suggest that the 2016/2017 versions of Larsen, Klef and Talbot were all value contracts. 2017/2018 not so much. How these three play in the upcoming season will be crucial.

    • Carbonrod

      We have a cap problem here clearly. But even Luc isn’t the real problem. Our problem is 3 NMC’s, wit Sek, Russel and Lucic. We have 15.5 million in players that can’t be moved easily and make too much money for the value they provide.

      If Lucic and Sekera can bounce back next year I would be happy to keep them both. I can’t see Lucic having such a bad year next season, there was so much bad luck, and Sekera looked much improved at the world championships so I hope they show better next year so we get more value from them either as players or trade pieces.

        • Dobbler

          Meh. There have been lots of bad decisions, but there’s also been some bad luck, especially with Looch’s lack of scoring this season. It doesn’t let Chia or Looch off the hook to say that. It’s just saying something that’s true. Of all the things that Chia has done that had bad results, Singing Looch is the one I complain about least (and there are lots of things I complain about), because at the time, it looked okay. The contract was a little long for my liking, but he was a premium UFA, so you expect to overpay in things like contract length. Eberle trade? Bad decision, bad result. Hall trade? Bad decision, bad result. Reinhart trade? Bad decision, bad result. Lucic trade? Decent decision, bad result. I blame Chia for his bad decisions, but I’m not enough of a hypocrite to blame him for getting bad results when, at the time I was thinking “that seems about right”.

          • Leo Tard

            Bad players (Talbot, Lucic, Sekera, Caggiula, Slepeshev, Benning, Strome), bad coaching (poor system play, brutal PP, brutal P.K., line combos), and bad management got us here. Blaming luck is not reality. It is similar to a criminal saying the reason they got caught was bad luck. Well, actually no, it was not bad luck…it was poor decisions that got you caught.

  • RexHolez

    I’m hoping there’s more smoke than fire and chia is just looking at all his options. I hope he doesn’t give up assets just to dump Looch, or take on a bad contract.

  • Jimmer

    Washington & Winnipeg were big and fast this season. Tampa Bay was just fast (one of the shortest and lightest teams in the 2017-18 season). Tampa got steam rolled by Washington in the playoffs. If I’m Stevie Y…I’m calling Chia and working on a deal that grabs Lucic (with EDM holding on to 2 million/year of cap) and the Oilers get Tyler Johnson. Similar ages…and each player serves a “better purpose” for each of their new teams. Honestly it sucks we have to pay Johnson 5M + Lucic’s 2M but we are so much better off long term. Only thing is Tyler Johnson has a NTC….so this most likely will not happen….but who knows.

  • LordRuggles

    I really wish that Looch’s year wasn’t the slow painful ballet of futility that it was. And logic dictates he couldn’t play worse than he did in the last half of the season….right…Ipso facto, next year he performs better…not necessarily $6 million worth of better, but not as horrendous.
    If, after all we have done for him, what with the millions and a beautiful city to raise a family in. If after all our generosity, he has the gall to ask for a trade because we make him feel poopy because we point out that he did his highly paid job poop-illy….ummm too bad, and then to have to sweeten the pot with our limited assets just to facilitate a trade…NO DICE! You want out? Play friggin better, become a desirable commodity, and when teams are offering us all the pretty things, so they can have a Looch of their very own….then you may leave.

  • Serious Gord

    Well, unless lucic plays like his old self either with the oil or elsewhere then his signing has to be considered a huge mistake by chia.

    Looks like we have the makings of a bad next season.

  • Ted

    If Lucic plays as a strong power forward I’d keep him as he should wear down teams in the playoffs! But if he plays like Luci he will only be the same product as last year which is USELESS and we already have Kassian filling those shoes! BOOM

  • Rama Lama

    Connor McDavid in a interview when he was 15 told the reporter that the NHL player he would like to play with is some like Milan Lucic. I suspect the Oilers had watched this interview…….just maybe it was Connor that brought him here? Just saying, trading Lucic may not go over well with Connor.

    • Leo Tard

      Well Connor better smack Lucic in the peni then, and wake Lucic the fug up…Lucic had the gall to brag about swagger and yet all he brought was blah blah fuggin blah. All talk and no results. Nearly every interview after a loss, Lucic went on about how he has to be better and how he needs to bring more and yet as the season passed away he brought less and less. I am still convinced that there is something very wrong in that dressing room.

      • Leo Tard

        Nonetheless. The bottom line remains. Lucic sucked. He bragged about swagger when he arrived, told everyone how he needed to be better when they were losing, and did nothing to resolve his issues. We have seen this happen over and over and over for way too long.

  • Hemmercules

    Overpay a guy, he flounders, everyone hates him and then he wants out. Par for the course on this team. Pay high and sell low. I don’t think looch will change the world next season but he can’t be as bad as he was. Going to be a tough sell with out taking some garbage back in return or paying half his contract just to get rid of him. See what chia can do here, I’m not overly confident they can even move him or get a remotely good deal out of it. As much as they need that cap space and a player that can make a pass it just somehow feels like another back eye for this team moving him out so quickly. I think he rebounds next year, probably elsewhere, while the oilers struggle again with whatever junk they get in return for him.

  • Moneyball

    Lucic did not look good last season, however what surprised me the most was how much the rule changes and officiating adfected the game. Probably as a result of the concussion lawsuits on the go. I’d prefer to keep Lucic and let him work through this and be a team leader, I’m not sure there is a future for him in the new NHL.

  • chezzychez

    I want to see Looch for another year. You’re not going to get equal or better return on a trade. I like what he has to offer and I’m down to see if he just had a down year.

    • camdog

      I think his wife is playing into this. So no to Buffalo. He wants to go to either a big city with lots to do or somewhere warm. The Edmonton expierence is what he’s trying to get away from.

      • Oilman99

        Great way to reward a team that sells the farm to give the contract of a lifetime to you, you crap the bed and then ask for a trade rather than do the work to try to rectify the situation.

  • Bittersomfan

    I feel a bit worried when they talk about taking a contract back. But if there is another expansion draft coming, then it would be good to have one no move clause less to protect.

  • percy

    I agree luch didn’t live up to his contract, I think he will pick it up this season. Do you think DRI,TALBOT,SEKERA, ETC lived up to theirs. We need a coaching staff that isn’t afraid to crack the whip. Hold them accountable. Add a few more chairs in the press box. I don’t think this is the right mix between coach and players.

    • ed from edmonton

      Interesting you use the phrase “hold them accountable”. “Hold them accountable” is an action Gallant does not use, he doesn’t want his players playing afraid. However you are correct that Looch was only one of many (I would say about 12) Oilers who disappointed last year.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    Going into Christmas break Lucic scored (previous 10 games) 5 goals, 5 assists and was looking closer to his old self.

    Team had 3 days off and he returned and suddenly he can’t play hockey again.

    Something is amiss either in his life (none of my business) or something happened within the team.

    Maybe the new coaches helps. But I think much like the calls from this board to get rid of someone like Eberle last year it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to read a bunch of posts next year how Lucic rebounded with a new team and Chiarelli didn’t get enough.

    Patience. It is what good teams do. A trade that works…take it. Otherwise Lucic needs to be better next year.

  • The unfortunate truth to this league is that, if you want to win a trade, you should usually make the trade either during or after a successful year. That’s when you’ll have players who’ve outperformed their career norms and can be traded at highs instead of lows.

    Last year very few oilers performed at or above their normal levels. Maybe McDavid, Nurse, Nuge, and Khaira stayed level or saw improvement. Everyone else took a step back. I wouldnt trade any of those players. Moving Hall, Eberle, and the Barzal pick has pretty much cemented Chia’s place in the hall of fools. And it’s put him in a near unwinnable situation this off season. All he had to do when he aqcuired this team was get Cam Talbot and Andrej Sekera and dont touch the rest.

  • #97TRAIN

    Draisaitl had 78 points on a team that nothing went right for.
    If oilers rebound this next season Draisaitl will be a big part of it and get 90 plus points.

    • Leo Tard

      We did not get here by things not going their way. We got here because the players were bad, the coaching was bad, and the managing was bad. Tired of peeps blaming the bad season on bad luck. Good teams do not rely on luck to be good. Good luck takes you to the Stanley cup, (or close to it) with good coaching, good players and good managing. So stop already, with the attitude that the team would have been good if it wasn’t for bad luck. Good teams are still good without luck, and bad teams will be bad no matter the luck.

  • OnDaWagon

    I would say his list of places to go would be any team + Baffin Island, just to get out of this toxic fan base.

    So, now that Lucic looks to be on his way out, you’re gonna need to find THE NEXT ONE to start kicking around.

    To you people who make peoples life miserable, imagine if Lucic was as good as you. Imagine that !

    He’d be to fast for the NHL. They would have to penalize him for speed.
    He’d score so many goals, the refs would have to disallow 80% of them, and the other team still wouldn’t have a chance.
    Yep, if he was as good as you. He’s be an a$$hole.

    • RexHolez

      Haha. You think players are going thru articles on fan sites and reading negative comments and crying over them?

      Fans don’t run players out of town, bad play and the teams managment do.

  • 2centz

    Looch and his wife were being ripped in public by fans. It was so bad that his wife and children went back to Vancouver before the season was even over. Looch has knocked people out cold on and off the ice,so I’m not sure who has the stones to rip this guy and his family on the street? Seems to me like somebody gonna get a hurt real bad. So Pete is moving Milan to a non hockey madhouse,so he can sulk and drink his face off,without anyone calling him on his bs. So with that,beat it Milan,you pee sitting down.

  • ellebee

    Talbot & Lucic had similar disappointing seasons. Talbot seems to get it and has a plan moving forward. Looking at Lucic’s exit interview it was full of yeah buts. BUT Dustin Brown & Kopitar got better, BUT I came in, in great shape, BUT my confidence, BUT I don’t want too much advice, BUT I’m a big person, BUT lighter doesn’t mean faster, BUT I’d lose muscle & strength, BUT I’m not old, BUT the posts & the blocked shots.
    Lucic & Chiarelli are both thinking old school hockey in a new school league and don’t want to admit it or change. I’m sure Lucic is aware the fans have turned on him & wants out of Edm, and Chia is aware that Edm blames him for this bust of a contract. Lucic likely thinks he’ll do better elsewhere, and Chiarelli thinks he has an opportunity to take pressure off of himself by helping him go. Problem is it’s not a GM’s job to make the situation better for himself or the player, it’s his job to make the team better.

    • Moneyball

      The problem for Edmonton is running Lucic out of town is that there won’t be another UFA that comes here without an overlay larger than everywhere else. Perhaps something new should be attempted and we stick with the guy? I really don’t care how much he is paid, I just want the Oilers to be a competitive team and Lucic was not the sole cause of last seasons result. Look to the goaltending, the poor power play, poor penalty kill and draft busts like puljujarvi.

    • Ted

      Talbot lost it in the he playoffs against Anaheim then never showed up all of the next year! Damaged …. Brain damage! He won’t recover yet he is still our number one!! UGH

      • Kneedroptalbot

        But he know a thing or two about Goaltender Interference.
        Oh and thinking they can make the playoffs last year too, with 20 games left. Cameron… Cameron.