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Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently the Canucks are interested in acquiring Milan Lucic

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.

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.

  • SLURVE

    Tyler Benson to sweeten the deal? Are you kidding? How you checked how NOT so well injury-prone Ericksson is performing on a few teams he was traded to? Tyler Benson, Oilers possibly top prospect who will most likely have a shot to make the NHL is not the one to be traded to get the deal done. There is no need to sweeten any deal if any, Vancouver is getting a better deal since Ericksson is well-known in the league to be quite intimidating dropping his gloves often while facing other team’s tough guys… not.

    • Ken Holland

      Eriksson carries an 18 mil cap hit over the next 3 years. He makes 9 mil in salary.

      If we kept him for on year, and paid his 3 mil bonus next july 1 – he makes 4 mil real cash over the last 2 years (12 mil cap hit).

      This is a tradeable contract. The Lucic contract is not.

      We trade Lucic, than we trade Eriksson. This is how we rid ourselves of Milan.

      • Ken Holland

        For this reason I would be shocked if Canucks made this deal. If anyone would make it, Benning is the guy – Canucks have had the worst winning percentage over the last 3 years.

      • Ben918

        The trade is good but not at a second round or Benson. Maybe for one of the extra dmen that simply don’t seem to have a roster spot ever on this team. Why trade a guy for a worse guy, just to trade that guy to save money to get someone to play 2 years from now who most likely won’t be better than a second round pick and won’t have an ELC with a cap hit below 1 mil. Cheaper to play Benson and Lucic as your third and fourth line wingers respectively.

      • Kool-Aid Man

        Cam, I’m glad you are not the GM, if you are giving up Benson then you are making a Charelli trade.

        Why would we want to add a sweetener? The trade is a one-for-one or nothing.

        To be honest, if there is a sweetener required to make the deal, Vancouver should be the one adding a sweetener.

  • TruthHurts98

    Give me a break. The Oilers are better off to just sit Milan in the press box for 4 years than make this deal. Benson might be their only half decent LW next season. If Holland is that bad at making trades the DOD 2.0 will never end.

  • The future never comes

    Lucic drops the gloves once a year now, throws checks that miss the player more often then not, when he does throw them they have no effect on the play, he does not chirp, he can not even take or make a pass at this stage. He should not be on a roster at this point as he is not NHL calibre, yeah I would trade him.

    • Frank Rizza

      If you think he doesn’t have value as being the ultimate pacifier of other teams you’re nuts. If we trade this guy I’m terrified of the cheap shots that Connor will take. Doesn’t anyone remember how Hall Eberle and Nuge used to get a face wash every shift. Count me in the camp of wanting to keep Lucic. If we have to trade him please please please don’t trade him in the division.

  • Elgando

    I’d suggest the players are a wash, and if so then we’re dealing with Lucics cap hit of 6m for one extra year and what that’s worth to Edmonton. 6 million extra disposable income in summer of 2021/22 could actually mean a great deal for the team. I’d throw in a 4th for that and only for that reason.

  • OriginalSixMachine

    Can you guys do me a favour and stop talking about trading Lucic for Eriksson? Put down the pipe man and walk away it is clouding your judgement that would be a terrible trade and to suggest that benson is needed as a sweetener ?? Lol! Wow ! You’re really taking advantage of the newly legalized pot man oofta save some for the rest of us ffs

    • FISTO Siltanen

      If Oilers trade Lucic to a division rival AND throw in a sweetener while taking back an equally horrible contract…someone is going to have to show how I can get a refund on my season ticket deposit. I’ll be done.

      One for one I’m not even happy about.

      If Oilers want a suggestion – Corey Perry ($15M owed) for Lucic. Next year he has a $4M signing bonus and a $3M salary. Be done with these contracts in 12 months.

  • Abagofpucks

    In my mind you would have to be PC stupid to throw in a sweetner to get Erickson. If they need lucic so bad they should do the sweeting no?
    Plus trading Lucic in the div doesn’t matter, if you don’t poke the bear you don’t even know he’s playing, which is why i never wanted him in the first place. If they need somebody to protect their young stars so bad then they can make extra concession.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      How soon we forget what not having a physical deterrent on the team is like. Hall, Eberle, and RNH were mauled at will in every rink in the NHL including their own. Not too many dare to take “bully” liberties (holding/interference isn’t the same thing) with our skilled guys anymore. That will begin the second Lucic is moved out. Here is a snippet from a Leavins article yesterday:

      “Remember Matthew Tkachuk in that rambunctious December tilt between the Flames and Oilers where McDavid got the face wash? But then how quiet he was during the January rematch? That was after Lucic offered to fire him into next week and return the favor on Johnny Gaudreau”.

      Lastly, we will never get a better 6mil dud than the one we have. That’s not how things work. Loui sucks, Neal sucks, and Looch sucks just a shade less because of his reputation..

      • Frank Rizza

        I wish I could upvote this a million times. Just having Lucic on the bench keeps everybody honest. Other teams still play our guys tough but there is very little cheap stuff after the whistles. Please don’t trade him and f*** no on adding a sweetener!

  • FISTO Siltanen

    Another suggestion if Oilers have to trade Lucic.

    Lucic to Vancouver
    Erickson to Buffalo
    Okposo to Edmonton.

    Physical right winger. All three are currently duds who might benefit from a change.

    Buffalo saves a year and some money.

    Vancouver gets a home town boy who wants to return.

  • Ben918

    Lucic is a mess but he is better than Erickson. Lucic has been training since the season ended and is motivated to come back in the best shape possible. Yes, he has one more year on his contract and yes his NMC would mean the Oilers would have to protect him in the expansion but “sweetening” with a solid prospect or second rounder is crazy.

    Odds are, Erickson will be a 4th line player that the Oilers wouldn’t miss if he didn’t even play those 4 min a night. Benson could be a solid third line winger for many years to come with a small cap hit until he gets better. Why trade a player that is better than Lucic and Erickson just to get a “change of scenery” trade done. If they have to sweeten with anything better than a career AHL player, then I say pass. At least with Lucic there is a chance he could improve.

  • Trevy

    So having the likes of Kassian, Khaira and Nurse is not enough truculence that you all feel a heavy weight is still needed? Seriously!? How did that go for you guys last year? The game is changing, sure you need a couple of guys with grit, but come on

    • RJ

      I didn’t see this before I posted, but you’re 100% right. Nurse, Khaira, Kassian…and if they’re so serious about losing some truculence, then early July should be the time to add. Not get stuck on a player who can’t even make a tape to tape pass anymore.

    • HockeyYoda

      I agree Trevy, for today’s NHL; there’s enough grit on the team without him. And too many times one of those guys you mentioned were doing his job anyway.

  • Goaltender Interference

    Cam, I’m usually with you and in agreement with your posts. But you should go check yourself in for concussion protocol for suggesting a second or Benson as a sweetener in this deal.

    Lucic has been a bust – true. However it should be an absolute non-starter to lose his functional toughness and also PAY the cost of a prospect like Benson to do it. This is how teams get worse.

    I think you’re too used to the types of trades that Chiarelli made… Let’s hope Holland is a little smarter.

  • RJ

    A lot of people chirping how intimidating Lucic is. Where was that toughness when Manning injured McDavid on purpose? Where was it last season against the Flames?

    If you want a guy who fights, Kassian and Nurse also fit the bill and neither of them cost $6m.

    If you can get a middle six winger that Tippett can unlock, and with one fewer season, then you take it. As for a sweetener, a 4th or 5th is all I’d throw in.

    • billsbills

      Lucic was in LA when Manning took out McDavid.

      I remember last year before Christmas Lucic knocked Hamonic into next week with a body check and almost delivered a one punch knock out Peluso to answer the bell. Oilers won that game 1-0

      Eriksson is not a middle six winger.

      • QueenB

        Or the January game when Hamonic left McDavid bloody, and then McDavid got hit again and more blood, and then the Flames won. Looch did nothing and is worth nothing

  • Hemi

    Not a fan of any trade with divisional rival. I may get lost in the logistics of money/term/cap/etc between these players and respective teams but having Lucic take a run at Conner just scares the bejesus out of me.

  • cityofchampions

    Even a 1-for-1 trade is problematic, and I’d only consider it after the draft if nothing else came up. In the meantime I’d keep looking for better deals before settling for that one. I think Lucic does have some value for a team that needs some toughness (Canucks, Flames, Habs, Leafs, Pens, even TB) and I think we can take a slightly better contract than Ericksson’s (I’d take almost anything, the Oilers are already tough enough without Looch, so his value to the Oilers is almost nil). Ericksson doesn’t provide any value all, and I can see him being sat in the pressbox more often than not. His only value is that he has a slightly more manageable contract, but its not much better. I’d hold out for a slightly better terrible contract lol.

  • he shoots he scars

    Trade NMC Lucic rather than having him protected in the Seattle draft. Rather protect a player more useful than Lucic or a ripened prospect than Lucic well past his prime. Buy out the one year on Ericksson prior to that draft.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      If he’s that eager to get to the west coast/Pacific North West and so desperate to get out of here why wouldn’t he waive his NMC for the expansion draft? If he gets picked up he’s close to home. If he doesn’t the Oilers were at least able to protect someone better so, in theory, they shouldn’t suck.

      • he shoots he scars

        He won’t waive his NMC near the end of his career to go to an expansion team; I don’t think Seattle will repeat the Vegas instant success. You say “why wouldn’t he waive ” and I say that is just a hope you have and Holland can’t bank on a hope.