The Milan Lucic to the Vancouver Canucks story just won’t go away. Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger spoke on Insider Trading yesterday that the Canucks are interested in the widely-speculated Lucic for Loui Eriksson change of scenery swap.
According to Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger, the #Canucks are 'interested' in Milan Lucic. New Oilers coach knows Loui Eriksson with Dallas. Potential swap could make sense. EDM would likely need to add in a sweetener. #TSNHockey
— Grady Sas (@GradySas) June 8, 2019
We’ve been hearing rumblings about this for over a month now. Back in early May, Lucic went on Vancouver radio and said he would have no qualms playing with the Canucks at some point in his career and that the bad blood between him and his home town was in the past.
This, of course, would be a my-bad-deal-for-your-bad-deal swap. Eriksson and Lucic were both signed on July 1, 2016, when a wealth of terrible contracts to ageing forwards were handed out. Lucic had one good year in Edmonton when the team made the playoffs but has been a disaster over the past two seasons. Eriksson hasn’t eclipsed 11 goals in any of his three seasons in Vancouver.
Apparently, Jim Benning is looking to add more bite to Vancouver’s lineup to protect the team’s younger, smaller players, like Elias Pettersson. The Canucks dealt away Erik Gudbranson mid-season and lost Derek Dorsett to a career-ending neck injury. The only real tough guy left on the team in Antoine Roussel.
Lucic and Eriksson both have cap hits of $6,000,000, but Lucic has an extra year left on his deal and he has a no-movement clause. As a result, the Oilers would surely have to throw in a sweetener to get a deal done. I imagine that would be something like a second-round pick or a solid prospect like Tyler Benson.
Canucksarmy editor Ryan Biech chimed in on the situation, suggesting that it’s no shock the Canucks are interested in Lucic, even considering his struggles:
But back it up a bit, the Canucks interest in Milan Lucic this time around shouldn’t be viewed as a shock. They were reportedly in the winger’s services prior to him being moved to Los Angeles in a blockbuster deal in the summer of 2015 and then again pursued him when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2016. Lucic ultimately chose to head to Edmonton and then the Canucks moved their efforts to lock up Loui Eriksson as a free agent.
Another factor in this deal from Edmonton’s side is head coach Dave Tippett, who developed Eriksson back in Dallas. Eriksson, a second-round pick of the Stars in 2003, came up under Tippett and developed into a very good two-way winger before getting sent to Boston as the centrepiece of the Tyler Seguin deal.
Ultimately, the key here for Edmonton is getting out from under Lucic’s contract. While Eriksson has also been a disaster since signing his deal, he has one fewer year on his contract and wouldn’t be a headache for the upcoming Seattle expansion draft. Beyond that, he’s a better skating, more skilled player and could likely be more of a contributor in Edmonton’s middle-six at this stage than Lucic.
The worries, though, would be trading Lucic’s intimidating presence within the division and the price of the aforementioned sweetener.