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Seravalli: “I’m concerned about the Milan Lucic situation”

Just when we thought the Milan Lucic trade rumours had died down, Frank Seravalli jumped on Lowetide’s radio show yesterday and stirred the pot up once again. 

After sliding through the last few weeks with next to no Lucic news or rumblings aside from Andy Strickland suggesting the Oilers had a deal in place, Frank Seravalli kicked things off again yesterday after he appeared on Lowetide’s radio show. This time around, the TSN insider made the Lucic rumour seem like more than just a guy being unhappy about where he’s at and more like a situation that the Oilers need to deal with sooner than later. Let’s break it down.

“I’m concerned about the Milan Lucic situation.”

You and me both, buddy. We need the dude to bounce back if the Oilers actually plan on getting back into the playoffs. Another 10-goal season just won’t cut it, ya know?

“I mean, you talk about Erik Karlsson and what a mess that has been in Ottawa, and you talk about Jeff Skinner and the fact that he hasn’t been traded from Carolina, and Justin Faulk and some other guys where you feel like the can has been kicked so far down the road. I don’t think Milan Lucic is really in all that different of a category when you consider what he’s gone through and really the position the Oilers are in. It’s almost untenable.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa stop the clock. Let’s not put Milan Lucic anywhere near the same category as what’s going on with Erik Karlsson, alright? Pretty sure none of the Oilers were allegedly sending his wife chirps about the worst tragedy of their lives so I don’t really see how that’s comparable. Sure, I can understand that the big man could be unhappy based on things outside of the rink that I’ve heard, but those rumours don’t even come close to what’s going down in Ottawa. Not close. Full stop. Anyway… Sorry, go on…

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“My understanding is, from what we reported weeks ago, is that Milan Lucic is open to finding a new home somewhere else. He’s the one who holds a lot of these cards with the no-trade clause, and my understanding is that he’s interested and willing to go to a new destination, particularly if he can get to a U.S. market.”

Okay, so Looch would be happier going somewhere with a little more anonymity — I get that. Being rich and famous is cool, but being rich and anonymous is way cooler. But just because the guy could be looking for greener pastures doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen, or that it’s going to break the dressing room if he doesn’t get his way. At least, I hope not anyway.

“The question is if the Oilers can somehow find a way to do that and is there a push from any other teams to try and make a move like that.”

If the Oilers have to push Lucic out the door then it’s probably not a trade worth making. I mean, I was pretty hard on Looch last season and deservedly so, but have you looked at the depth chart for wingers? Chances are, if the Oilers push him out the door then they’re going to get absolutely dogshit back in return and I don’t see how that helps considering the best free agent options to plug that hole are already gone.

“Now that we’ve gotten past free agency, it almost seems like the urgency kind of falls off a cliff. So what happens in that situation?”

Well, then I guess he would come back to Edmonton to honour the contract he signed, no?

“I just can’t imagine going into next season with all the issues they had to close out last season more or less and Peter Chiarelli basically saying, ‘Well, it’s up to you guys to figure it out.’ I mean, that’s not really how it works. It’s up to the manager to figure out a solution and find a way to make this team better. Because this team, on paper at least, certainly isn’t better.”

What issues are you talking about? First, Frank was talking about Lucic being an issue and now he’s making it seem like there are multiple issues that need to be fixed or else the world could implode on itself. Frankly, I think the special teams and first shot goals were a huge problem last year, but are we supposed to blame Lucic for all of that too? It doesn’t make sense. And to think that they would have to sweeten the pot just to get rid of him would be ridiculous unless we can kick in some Oodle Noodle GCs to make something happen.

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“The Oilers don’t have a lot of sweeteners to sending around. They don’t have a treasure trove of candy to be handing out. This isn’t Halloween.”

Unrelated, but did you know that there are set Halloweening hours in Two Hills and sometimes they make kids trick or treat on a day other than Halloween depending on the actual day it falls on? Weird right? Sorry, Frank, sometimes I get distracted. Go on.

“Part of it too is probably some stubbornness on the Oilers part saying, ‘Well, wait a second, why do we need to add this?’ Getting hung up on how exactly much of a sweetener there would need to be, given that he’s not that far removed from a productive season to start his career in Edmonton. So I think it’s one of those really tough situations.”

Right, so why trade him this year if it means giving up even more value just to do it? If some team is like, “okay we’ll take Lucic but you need to give us Puljujarvi or something” then you don’t do it and try again next year. By no means am I the biggest Lucic fanboy and getting rid of that contract would be a big cap help, but losing yet another trade is not going to help this team win.

“I don’t think there is any question in my mind that the Oilers are a better team without him.”

Holy hell. What is going on here?

“Moving forward, they need to get faster and they can’t have someone dragging them down, and certainly someone they’re going to be paying that much on the salary cap. So whatever it takes to make it happen.”

Whatever it takes? I’ll have to disagree.

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So far this summer, we’ve talked about Milan Lucic being traded more often than basically anything else and it’s gotten to the point where I have a hard time believing that he’ll be moved. Whether or not you believe he’s asked for a trade is irrelevant at this point, the guy has a huge contract remaining and it seems unlikely that the Oilers could get anything in return that will help them win now, especially considering we’ve made it through the draft and the bulk of free agency. With that in mind, it also seems unlikely that he’ll be anywhere but Edmonton by the time October rolls around. Or would the plan be to just trade him and have empty cap space again like they did last year? Wouldn’t be a great plan if you ask me.

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What confuses me here is that Seravalli seems so set on the Oilers needing to move Lucic and he’s not the kind of guy to make this stuff up. This isn’t Eklund we’re talking about, so what gives? What is really happening? I could understand the continued chatter if the draft and free agency hadn’t yet passed but they have and, at this point in the summer, teams are generally set outside of a few minor tweaks here and there. I know that we’re still waiting on the Karlsson trade and the Skinner trade and some other deals like that to play out, and maybe a Lucic deal is dependant on what happens with those guys, but it would seem like a stretch that someone is waiting to see what happens with Karlsson before pulling the trigger for Milan Lucic. Maybe I’m wrong? Gord knows it’s happened plenty of times before.

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At the end of the day, whatever happens will happen but the idea that the Oilers would be a better team without Lucic at this stage in the offseason seems like a bit much unless there’s some serious Dr. Claw shit happening around him that is taking the wind out of the team’s sails. If that is truly the case then sure they would be wise to move on, but if it’s not then they would probably be better off hoping that he can rebound a little bit and look to revisit things again next summer.

What do you guys think?

  • Ol_OneNut

    Ya I got tired of all the BS surrounding Looch a long time ago…and other whipping boys as well. If the Oilers improve on special teams, they’ll be in playoff contention and I’m sure Looch will have a bounce back year wherever he plays and I hope it’s in Edmonton!

  • nqmt

    I just want to know what “issue” he’s talking about…that we had a poor season last year? That he received just criticism? I just feel the Toronto media have a narrative about Edmonton and they’re pushing it.

  • SmyttysMulletsRevenge

    What is frightening to me is the fact that Lucic struggled for half a season and look at the situation its become. This city is getting a terrible hockey reputation each year. The McDavid factor is really all we are hanging onto while we wait see which of the last 2 seasons in the anomaly. How many players do we have to run out of town?

    Then again we have fans upset that we signed Strome to a very fair deal. People who were upset with the Reider and Brodziak signings. Maybe this is what happens when you’re a perennial losing team, people adopt negative mindsets. Or maybe people are just hockey dumb and dont really understand the game and hockey ops.

    We are basically in last years position, hope players get better and bonce back. We need Klef and Sekera to bounce back. Nurse and Benning to further improve. Caigulla to pot a few more. Talbot to bounce back. Khaira to repeat and or improve. Special teams to improve.

    Its going to be a hell of a ride either way.

      • I would say that Edmonton fans are tired of losing because I certainly don’t remember the complaints coming like this in the 2016-17 season. I also think that blaming the fans for management’s mistakes is ridiculous.

        • SmyttysMulletsRevenge

          Truth. We are tired of losing.

          Though we could try to support our players instead of taking them to the gallows.

          Management has made quite a few mistakes. Took gambles that didnt pay off. That would definitely out every move you make under scrutiny.

          That being said i have noticed a lot of out of touch fans regardless of the situation. Eberle is the perfect example. One of most consistent producers in the DOD. Struggled for the playoffs and the city lynched him.
          I guess it plays of the rule you can do 100 things right but people will remember the 1 thing you did wrong and forget the things you did right.

        • nqmt

          I would say my line for fans is if they start criticizing them in front of their families. I feel you can say what you want on talk shows, blogs and twitter but saying it to them in their faces and family is crossing the line

          • oilerjed

            The line “I feel you can say what you want on talk shows, blogs and twitter” says it all. Why do you think that just because you are online civility ceases. Imo dont say anything online that you wouldnt be preparex to say face to face. This is why the internet is a cesspool of people who forgot the saying” if you dont have anything nice to say then stfu”
            I may have paraphrased

          • Please tell me how anything a media guy from TSN says has anything to do with the fans? I’ll wait. Also, I’m sure you’ll remember that I called those kids that chirped McDavid when he was with his parents morons and I said it very loudly. I wrote it here and on social media.

          • The Future Never Comes

            Simple answer, as soon as the management group, coaches, and team start winning all of this negativity will die. What happened 2 years ago when we were in playoffs? Oilersnation was positive and all rainbows and butterfly’s. Win and all this chatter goes away.

        • Natti_89

          Uh really? Even then we manage to chase Ebs out of town for being soft . Playoffs or not our city is full of ungrateful people who seem to take pride in shaming our own players. I still haven’t figured it out. Just blame blame blame. Looch can pot 25 goals this year and he’ll still be goated. I know our fan base isn’t all like this, but the morons who bash our own players seem to give this city a reputation. Ps. How long until nurse is run out of town?

        • Cap'n Obvious

          I don’t think that blaming the fans for mismanagement over the years is ridiculous. People vote with their feet and dollars. If the fans walked and revenues dropped, you bet your ass change would’ve happened sooner in the ‘decade of darkness.’ By continuing to fill a building for a crappy team, fans reinforce to ownership that its OK to lose. The fans are the boss in the world of entertainment.

    • Spydyr

      That’s a big ask. You are basically saying every player who had a bad year last season has to bounce back, other players to improve and no one to regress. The odds of that happening are not very good.

  • Big Nuggets

    If Seravelli isn’t going to elaborate on these ‘issues’ then its hard to take them seriously. Even if there are issues I don’t see the point in kicking up the hornets nest of Lucic hate, especially if they are waiting for the shoe to drop on Karlsson before they can pull the trigger on something. Granted the Oilers problems last season did appear to be mental, so maybe this guy has some behind the scenes info.

    • Oilerchild77

      If Seravalli isn’t going to elaborate on the issues, he should just keep his mouth shut. But then, he’s probably being told by Lucic’s agent to come on the air and say these things because agents have inside men in the media that do this all the time. In which case, we can assume a trade has been requested and they’re lying about it.

      • oilerjed

        That is a butt load of bs. It is far more lijely that Serverelli is just say stuff to keep his articles relevent over the summer so he canbget paid.
        Number one rule of media, when there is no story, make one.

  • Spydyr

    Seravalli is just giving his take on the situation. Like most of us here he has no inside information nor does he know the entire situation or how the dressing room is.

    I’ll take this with a grain of salt but that being said most times where there is smoke there is fire.

    If there really is discord and the Oilers go into the season without dealing with it, that would not be a good thing.

    • Tooleybuc

      One aspect of the article that is very true is that there is clearly a logjam of big name wingers that haven’t moved yet. Perhaps the dams will break as soon as Karlsson is traded. After all, there will be some teams who miss on that deal… who will still want to make bold improvements. Dallas and SJ come to mind (if they miss out)… and the Isles have a hole to fill. Kessel’s name is out there… Pacioretti, Lucic, Skinner… Maroon and Rick Nash haven’t signed…. and even names like Corey Perry and Wayne Simmonds have been thrown around. IMO, the dominos have yet to fall. Looch could still be on the move. Neither the Team nor Player/Agent benefit from talking about too much at this point. The smart play is to sit tight – which is exactly what seems to be playing out.

  • Arfguy

    I do think the Oilers are better off without Lucic. He is extremely slow and most of the season I did not see him do the things he should have been doing when he wasn’t scoring.

    That said, I refuse to believe that the Oilers should need to sweeten any deal and add anything to trade Lucic. The guy makes $6 million dollars and has already gotten about half of that this season for doing nothing. If he is unhappy, you sit him in the press box. He needs to contribute goals and points and if he cannot do that, he should at least go out and make it hard for the other teams to play against them by actually hitting people.

    • IRONman

      Sick looch. More like mooch. He can’t skate. Doesn’t fight. And does not stick up for his team mates. Forget him. Maroon far better player and guy on and off ice. He came to Edmonton to hang out with a fan at west ed and play mini golf. That’s what this team needs and Edmonton fans love. Heart. Gotta have HEART!!!

      • Arfguy

        See, if there was a choice of having Maroon or Lucic, I’d rather have Maroon. The thing is, Maroon played a half-hearted game for a lot of the season, where he kind of disappeared. Regardless of that, at least he does the smart thing and use his body to go hard to the net without the puck. He doesn’t even need to play a skilled game. He just has to be able to deposit garbage goals in scrums.

        There’s a good chance that Lucic could come back better. I really hope he does. I hope he works hard and tries to do the things he was doing when he was a good player. He’s a career 20 goal/season scorer. I just don’t have a lot of confidence in it.

    • bazmagoo

      I wouldn’t be opposed to taking a hard line with Milan, if necessary.

      Sit him in the press box, even send him down to the AHL. You signed a 7 year contract with a full NMC and a high cap hit, show us you deserved it!

  • RC

    I can’t back anyone who says that we need to sweeten the pot to get a player out. Oilers are not In garage sale mode. Let Lucic find his game, then trade him for something worth it. I always laugh because people probably expected him to be 60 point guy even though he has only done in 2x in the NHL. I think he is a 40-50 point guy. I mean can you blame him for getting paid?

  • I think both Lucic and the Oilers need to do what is best for the team. Lucic made close to $20 Million to date, in just two short years. That’s a lot. If he wants out, fine, but it should be on Oilers term and his no trade clause should be waived. If a suitable trade isn’t in the cards, Lucic needs to stay and play and play better.

    Another thought, it seems when a player is out of favor in Edmonton, too much energy is put into running the guy out of town. Like Hall was a cancer and needs to moved. Eberle is a lazy bum, trade him at all cost. Gagner… Penner…Horcoff…Schultz…
    I think you know where I’m going with this. All focus is on getting rid of the goat of the day, until the next goat.

    • Tooleybuc

      When teams lose with regularity, and management makes questionable decisions (which go hand-in-hand) then certain high paid (over paid) players will ALWAYS pay the price. It’s human nature. Fans need to lash out, because they otherwise feel helpless.

  • boil-in-the-oil

    Quote from above…
    “This isn’t Eklund we’re talking about, so what gives?”

    I would argue with that. Seravalli is nothing more than a rumour-starting click generator. TSN has him labelled as an “insider” yet he seldom has accurate knowledge of a story. Lucic’s own agent even said… not only is he not going anywhere, but no one from the Oilers has asked if he would consider a move.

    So I say, bull-snot on Seravalli. If we can get a trade worked out that works for us, fine. But to say this is somehow equal to what is happening in Ottawa, is absurd.

  • OilCan2

    I think Looch will be here in October. The Oilers will go forward as a team and the young guys looking for a spot and the few old pros we added last week will be the story of success. Captain Connor and the new coaches are all on the bus too so hopefully when it wheels into playoff contention Looch may be of some value next March.

  • bazmagoo

    I find Seravalli to be one of the more dramatic tsn pundits, him and Button.

    Wouldn’t put too much stock into his comments, he’s just looking for airtime.

  • GK1980

    Ok, so you make millions with your job to score points. I’m finding more and more NHL players are becoming whiners. Boo me and poor me ect. How about they act like men, play the damn game.