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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?

  • Oilersborn

    I hoping for a big trade like Lucic, RNH and Klefbom for Aho, Skinner and Faulk.
    Caroline is so weak down the middle. Staal is an ok 2nd line C. Oilers can really use 2 natural wingers with McDavid and Leon.
    Skinner is only a year older than Nuge.
    Also what is the hold-up signing Nurse. Heard he wants $4.8X8

    • NoBuBlackOPS

      I don’t think this will work don’t think we should give up nuge at all. Having three top 6 centres is a huge advantage for the team. Especially given both drai and nuge have chemistry with Mcdavid that versatility is a big advantage. Everything I’ve herd about Carolina this offseason has been how Aho is one of there untouchables going forward. If true the price to get him would be significant and would not be worth it IMO. I also have trouble with bringing Faulk in he’s struggled the last few seasons doesn’t have a lot of term left gets paid a pretty good amount of money for playing on the third pair. We have to many overpaid contracts why trade one of are value contracts in kelfbom to bring in another over paid third paring defender.

  • Ko-D

    Fingers crossed that a cap floor team will take Lucic for little extra incentive. Every play coming his way last year died in his stick and went the other way.

  • Ko-D

    Fingers crossed that an incompetant cap floor team will take Lucic for little extra incentive. Every play coming Lucic way last year died in his stick and went the other way.

    • the dope $teez

      Yep. Get rid of the man now. He’s been checked out from the moment things started going south. What frank said about the oilers being a better team with him out of here – I’ve been saying that all season. Total dud, but you can’t blame chia on that one. Didn’t work out, cut your losses and move on.

  • HelpMeBabyJesus

    Just get rid of him already. He isn’t going to do any better on this team and his value isn’t going to improve when we are out of a playoff position by December. Throw in Nurse after he signs his bridge and we can eliminate two problems. Yes, I said it, get rid of Nurse. This guy is not going to be a number one or two pairing defenceman. He has the physical abilities but not the hockey sense. Get rid of him before he becomes the next ridiculous contract.

  • Oil Vice

    I’m concerned about the Lucic situation too. My concerns about Lucic’s game stem from the fact he is not fast enough to play at the pace we need from a top 6 winger. He will drag down whatever line he is on. Last summer the stories were that he trained with Terrell Owens to focus on his speed and explosiveness. He knew it would be an issue. It didn’t work. Aside from the pressure of playing in a hockey market, he’s probably worried that he’ll never be able to keep up with this team. It’s probably better for him to get onto a slower team that plays a cycle game down low instead of a speed game. So unless he finds a better way to train and improve his quickness and puck handling this off season, then he’s going to be an anchor again. He said he was in the best shape he’s been in for years. I don’t know that we can expect much of an improvement. This is concerning

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

          • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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?

        • 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

        • 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.