Photo Credit: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Change of Scenery: Milan Lucic for… Corey Perry?

Over the next week, I’m going to take a deep dive into some of the bad contracts the Oilers could get back in a Milan Lucic dump swap.

The hot news around Edmonton right now is that the team is working on a divorce with Lucic and his albatross contract. The Oilers want to move on, Lucic wants to move on, it seems inevitable. Of course, the Oilers are going to have to take another bad contract in return. This is a getting the best of a bad situation, change-of-scenery type thing for ugly contracts who could potentially be useful in a new environment.

The idea of Corey Perry in an Oilers uniform is partially disturbing and partially hilarious and partially, well, sort of interesting. Perry is already a largely disliked player around the league for his style of play on the ice…

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…but he became even more infamous in Edmonton because of the goalie interference call that went his way.

You’ll surely remember this whole thing…

“My only thing: What do I say to Corey? I tell him to stay out of the blue, which he does. And I don’t think it’s a deliberate act. It’s skate-on-skate.”


“Yeah, Danny (fellow ref Dan O’Halloran) agrees with me as a goal. So we’re all good.”

*Another pause*

“OK, so we got a goal on the ice. OK, thank you.”

Perry also did this in the series…

… I’m not forcing you to press play.

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What’s Corey Perry all about?

Perry and Ryan Getzlaf used to be one of the best duos in the NHL. I can vividly remember back during the darkest years of the Decade of Darkness when the two of them would completely dominate some very, very bad Oilers clubs. Over the past couple years, though, Perry has sort of fallen off a cliff. In 2016-17 and 2017-18, Perry has scored just 36 goals in 153 games. That’s a massive drop from the 30- and 40- goals seasons he was putting up consistently for nearly a decade before that.

Baggedmilk on #theLOCKERROOM: Hub Cities and May Long Weekend

Perry made an appearance on TSN’s recent Trade Bait List at No. 25. It doesn’t represent any certainty that Perry will be dealt, but there’s reason to assume the Ducks might be wanting to get out from under the winger’s $8,625,000 contract.

That $8,625,000 deal will go on for three more seasons. Perry just turned 33 years old and it’s difficult to say if he’ll ever rebound to being anywhere near the elite scoring power forward he once was. At this point, it seems very unlikely.

Does a Lucic swap make sense?

Lucic, as we know, is signed for five more years at $6,000,000. He’s 30 years old, so a few years younger than Perry, but his decline has been steeper. Lucic scored 23 goals in 2016-17, more than Perry did, but then imploded in 2017-18, scoring just 10 goals. Was 2017-18 an anomaly? Could he bounce back and be a solid contributor with a change of scenery on a different team? It’s difficult to say.

So, does this make sense? From Edmonton’s perspective, the team would be getting a salary cap increase over the next three years of $2,625,000 switching from Lucic to Perry, but they would also be getting savings on the next two years after that of $6,000,000 after Perry’s deal expires.

From an objective standpoint, Perry is an interesting fit on the Oilers because the team badly needs right wingers who can score goals. While he did only score 17 goals last season, I think he’s more likely to contribute on this team right now than Lucic is based on his skill set and style of play.

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Still nothing official on the James Neal conditional pick

What say you, Nation? Would you make a Lucic for Perry swap? If not, who says no — Anaheim or Edmonton? 

  • Jimmer

    No to Perry. Yes to Tatar (Vegas). Tatar is 27…a speedy winger and has a large $5.3M contract for this year plus two more. He had a terrible year last year as well but could catch fire with McDavid on the wing. Throw in a 2nd round pick either this year or next year and you might have a deal. If Vegas loses James Neal (UFA) they become one of the smallest teams in the league. They need some size on the wings to balance out that speed. He would also have a buddy in the dressing room…fellow Slovak Sekera!

    • Hemmercules

      Vegas style of play is way too fast for looch. By the time he makes it to the net the play is probably already over and heading back the other way. After that run they just made they can probably find a guy that’s faster, just as tough and equal on offence for less money and term. I’m hoping this season was just an off one and looch and few more guys bounce back. They won’t be contending for the cup next season anyway so I think they should give looch one more crack. That’s said, if he plays equally as bad next season it will be even tougher to move him. Chia put himself in a tough situation.

    • puckle-head

      That… actually makes a lot of sense. Tatar can score, three 20 goal seasons in a row I believe, but Vegas only dressed him for 8 games in the playoffs, so they clearly don’t value him or had a hard time finding space for him (why they played Ryan reaves above him was beyond me). And they have tons of cap space, so we shouldn’t need to offer much to sweeten that pot. Tatar would probably jump to #2 on our winger depth chart too. Seems pretty sensible

  • Delray Willis

    If the Oilers want to be smart in this situation they should look to retain on Lucic and trade for a younger player who has size and can skate. Rattie fills a winger slot to play with McDavid next season and he’s earned that, so looking for size now to be infront of the next and cause traffic is what that first line needs. Either target a young player like Matt Martin or try and get Lucic out while having enough Cap to pick up JVR. Both would be wonderful.

    • OTOF2

      So Rattie hasn’t even scored 10 goals in his entire NHL career but has “earned” a spot on a line with the best player in the world. How sad is that. If the Oil can’t soon figure out how to build an actual NHL team Connor might end up getting frustrated and ask for a trade rather than waste his career with this gong show.

      • QuitForRealThisTime

        They are…Having a winger making 800k is exactly what you need on a line that makes 18.5 mil. I has shown to a competent player in that small window. Remember only Oiler nation posters know everything, it is tough for everyone else. Look at the last 10 years of the people that have played with Crosby. McD and Nuge will not need help creating offensive changes. They need a guy that can just play smart enough, from what I have seen Rattie has done that so far. The team needs value contracts because there is this thing called the salary cap int he NHL.

  • Moneyball

    The rule changes and officiating hit guys like Lucic and Kassian hard. The oilers had more penalties than anyone else and it effectively neutered their game. I am hoping that the goal review and the officiating for hits and interference is more straightforward and more easily understood by the coaching staff and the players. Last season I don’t think those two knew what they could and could not do on the ice. Speed has become a bigger factor but I do not think that Lucic is slow he can be quick when he needs to be, he just has to work on stamina instead of muscle this off season. Lucic is a guy that you would want on a playoff run and stays healthy. Keep him another season and if his play improved at all then you are only looking at 4 years of 6 million and he will be more enticing to other teams.