Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Milan Lucic talks about possibly playing for the Canucks

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.

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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.

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.

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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!

    • Goon

      Lucic has arguably been worse than Eriksson and he’s signed for a year longer… why would you do this?

      The only way a deal makes sense is to trade Lucic plus an asset for Eriksson. That would be worth considering, especially if there’s a new CBA signed next year that allows for a compliance buyout.

      • toprightcorner

        Erickson is 4 years older and as his offense declines, he is more useless than Lucic. Lucic is at least an on-ice deterrent. I wouldn’t trade Lucic for Erickson straight up, even to get 1 less year on the contract.

        • Shane

          Lucic hasn’t played like an NHL player in 2 years. He wouldn’t make the third line in Bakersfield. He is like the opposite of McDavid. He makes everyone who plays with him worse. I do Eriksson for Lucic in a heartbeat and then go buy a lottery ticket.

  • 50 Flex

    Are there teams that would even take Lucic for the league minimum at this point? Pretty sure even 4th line fringe players are expected to get more than 20 points over 79 games.

    • Goon

      No, 4th line replacement players are not expected to score 20 points.

      Lucic is a depth player at this point, but he’s still better than replacement level. If he was on a $2 million contract no one would bat an eye.

      • Shane

        That was 20 points in almost a full season with half his time on the 1st line with Conner McDavid and with powerplay time. He was being zoomed and was still terrible. Everyone thinks Kassian is horrible at 2 million and is just a fourth liner. Well Kassian is almost better in every way than Lucic. He can score with skill, penalty kill, and skate.
        I doubt Lucic would make Bakersfield if it was based on merit. I would take every winger on thier AHL team over him next year.

  • Deezy

    This guy talks like he’s still relevant. As if Vancouver would be dumb enough to trade for him. Throwing shade at Sportsnet for missing his 500th career point this season when he had a $1M/goal pace to finish the year. Once upon a time in Boston, he was an incredibly effective player. He’s a 4th liner, at this point, who is about 4 to 5 million dollars overpaid. To think, this guy was supposed to be Hall’s replacement. He came to Edmonton like his best friend Chia thinking he’s going to ride Connor’s coattails to a Stanley Cup while raking in his 42M along the way. Maroon came in and took the spot he was supposed to have. Hopefully the new coach next year shows some accountability and makes him the 13th forward next season. Maybe he’ll have some pride and simply retire so we can get his contract off our books.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    Holy moley moley. This is pretty big. Usually, a player in the middle of a long contract with one team isn’t this “open and honest” when asked about playing for another team.

    I mean, sure. Maybe a “yeah, maybe someday, but for now I’m focused on the Oilers and my time in Edmonton. I really believed we’re poised to turn things around … Connor McDavid… Leon Draisaitl… blah blah blah.”

    It suggests, at the very least, the no-trade-clause won’t likely be a factor if a deal can be struck, with Vancouver or someone else.

    • Shane

      You guys realize Lucic is quite possibly the worst winger in the NHL right? He’s done. He doesn’t score, he can’t pass, he can’t skate, he’s too slow to defend, and noone in the NHL is afraid of him. He’s like a 6 million dollar Goerge Laraque without the personality, and less offense.

  • toprightcorner

    Lets first assume that Lucic waived his NMC to be traded to a different team.

    After Lucic is paid his July 1st $3 mill bonus and the Oilers were to pick up half the salary (means less than $3 mill a year actual cash), then there Lucic would be tradeable. Lets put a value of Lucic at $1.5 mill. There are 2 ways to trade him.

    1) Add a sweetener with a value of $1.5 mill. That could be a 2nd round draft pick, a roster player like Khaira, or a solid prospect like Berglund. Lucic value is $1.5 + $1.5 value of sweetener + $3 mill kept by the Oilers gives the trade value of $6 mill.

    2) Trade for Brandon Sutter and ($4.375 for 2 years) coming off LTIR and VAN has no room for him as a 3C now that Pettersson has pushed everyone down a spot. Oilers keep $1.75 mill for Lucic and sweeten it up with a pick or prospect. VAN gets rid of a bad contract, but for only 2 years, so you still throw in the sweetener and less money has to be retained.

    3) The old double trade for cap move. Trade Lucic to OTT with a 2nd a prospect and retain $3 mill salary. Then OTT trades Lucic to VAN for a 3rd and retains $1.5 in cap. OTT doesn’t actually pay the $1.5 mill because the actual cash owing is less after the Oilers pay the signing bonus. OTT gets 2 much-needed picks for their rebuild and help to reach the cap floor, VAN gets Lucic at a very good price and Oiler save $3 mill in cap.

    I would look to trade Lucic and Benning to OTT for Pageau ($3.1 mill for 1 year) and retain $3 mill of Lucic cap. OTT trades Lucic to VAN for a 3rd and OTT retains $1.5 mill in cap hit which is only about $750k real dollars.

    VAN gets Lucic at a $1.5 mill cap hit for a 3rd
    OTT gets Benning and a 3rd, $1.5 mill cap hit for $750k real money paid to reach cap floor and takes $3.1 cap hit that is $3.4 mill real dollars, which saves them $300k in cash.
    EDM gains $3 mill in cap space for Lucic and $1.9 cap space from Benning. Pageau adds $3.1 mill cap space for only 1 year but is a quality 3C and PK specialist.

  • SylarHRG

    I’m not saying the coaching hasn’t affected him or whatever the hell he’s dealing with, but at the end of the day, the only person that can fix Lucic’s game is… Lucic. HE needs to man up, be better, and keep up with the game. Every player over 30 has an obligation to their employer to evolve with the game.

  • LeRaiden

    “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.” If the Canucks are smart, they would not accept a trade for Lucic and screw the Oilers over so that the Oilers could possibly lose a young talent to Seattle 😂 I’d rather have Eriksson than Lucic. Eriksson is more productive on the ice and also has 1 year less on his contract than Lucic

  • LeRaiden

    As a Canucks fan, go ahead and keep Lucic. I’d rather keep Eriksson tbh. If Eriksson is 3 years older than Lucic but still produce more goals and points, then I think Oilers fans know what they’re getting out of Lucic for the next few years lol

  • TKB2677

    When it comes to Lucic, I do not think the Oilers have to worry about him and the expansion draft. The Oilers could ask him to waive his no move so he could be exposed and I really doubt he would say no. His preference is to not be in Edmonton as he has already asked to be traded once. So if he is exposed, maybe Seattle takes him which means he lives in an American market, close to home and gone from Edmonton. The big thing being he’s gone from Edmonton which is what he wants. I doubt Seattle takes him though so there really wouldn’t be much of a risk for him.