It’s the off-season. You know what that means? It’s time to speculate about Milan Lucic’s future with the Edmonton Oilers.
Lucic had yet another difficult season with the Oilers in 2018-19. After scoring a paltry 10 goals and 34 points last season, Lucic saw his production dip again, this time to just six goals and 20 points. He spent a good chunk of the season playing in the bottom six and saw his power play usage slashed substantially.
Last summer was filled with speculation about a possible Lucic trade. Frank Seravalli reported that Lucic wanted out of Edmonton and the Oilers were looking for a possible trade partner. Nothing ended up transpiring, of course, but the speculation about the two sides looking for a divorce never died down.
Today, Lucic appeared on Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver to talk about the possibility of him playing for the Canucks in the future. There was a lot of beef between the Canucks and Lucic, a Vancouver native, in the aftermath of a messy 2011 Stanley Cup Final. At one point, he said he was disgusted and outraged with Vancouver fans.
That said, today he claimed all of that was in the past and he wouldn’t have an issue with playing for his hometown Canucks.
" It's something that could potentially happen in the future ".
Milan Lucic on the possibility of playing for the Canucks
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) May 1, 2019
This opens up the possibility of the Oilers working on a deal with the Canucks to move out Lucic’s albatross contract. Lucic is owed $6 million annually for four more seasons, his deal is structured so it’s virtually buyout proof, and he would have to be protected in the Seattle Expansion Draft due to his no-movement clause. Of course, he would also have to waive that clause in order to be traded, which makes moving him all the more difficult.
Vancouver has an albatross contract of their own in Loui Eriksson, who was signed the same off-season as Lucic. Eriksson, who scored just 11 goals last season, has a $6 million cap hit for three more seasons.
Let the speculation begin!