I wrote yesterday that the Vancouver Canucks were reportedly interested in acquiring Milan Lucic in a change of scenery style swap for Loui Eriksson. Given the fact Lucic has an extra year on his contract than Eriksson does, it was suggested that the Canucks would be looking for the Oilers to give them a sweetener in order to get it done.
Both Lucic and Eriksson signed long-term deals as free agents during the 2016 off-season. Lucic had a great first season with the Oilers, scoring 23 goals and helping the team make the playoffs. Since then, though, he’s fallen off a cliff. Lucic has just 16 goals over the past two seasons and hasn’t been the same intimidating presence he used to be. Eriksson, on the other hand, hasn’t been even sort of good since signing with the Canucks. Once a consistent bet to score around 25 goals, Eriksson hasn’t scored more than 11 goals in any of his three seasons with Vancouver.
The swap makes quite a bit of sense. It’s widely known that the Oilers and Lucic are interested in a divorce and the Canucks could use a tough guy in their lineup. Lucic also recently spoke publicly about an interest in playing for the Canucks, which would be odd if there was nothing brewing here. On the Eriksson side, the Swede probably fits better on the Oilers as he brings more potential offensive upside and he can kill penalties. He’s also familiar with new head coach Dave Tippett, who developed him back in Dallas.
The key difference is that Eriksson has one less year on his deal than Lucic and he doesn’t have a no-movement clause. This means that when the Seattle expansion draft rolls around in June 2021, the Oilers wouldn’t have to worry about being forced to use a protection spot on Eriksson as they would Lucic. Eriksson’s deal is also a little easier to buy out. If the Oilers wait until the June 2020 buyout window, they can buy out Eriksson with a $5,666,667 cap hit in the first season, a $3,666,667 cap hit in the second season, and two seasons of a $666,667 cap hit.
That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday SUNDAY EDITION question. Would you pull the trigger on a Lucic for Eriksson swap? Is this advantageous to the Oilers? What sweetener would you be willing to throw in to get the deal done?
My guess in the post last night was that the Canucks would be looking for something like a second-round pick or a solid prospect like Tyler Benson. That’s just my hunch. Personally, I wouldn’t pull the trigger on a deal with a cost that steep.
That’s my assumption because the Canucks would surely want something worthwhile to do this deal. Taking on an extra year of a player who gets paid $6 million to score six goals is a big ask. I get the angle of the Canucks badly needing a deterring presence in their lineup as the trade of Erik Gudbranson and retirement of Derek Dorsett has left Antoine Roussel as the only enforcer on the roster, but still, $6 million to add that presence is heavy.
Another thing I’ve seen suggested is the Oilers and Canucks swapping first-round picks in this year’s draft along with Lucic and Eriksson. That would mean the Oilers trade down from No. 8 to No. 10 in order to save that extra year. Again, given how deep this draft is and how much of a crapshoot it is after the first two picks, I have a hard time seeing that as worthwhile for Vancouver.
What say you, Nation? Am I wrong in thinking the asking price from Vancouver would be that steep? What would you be willing to give up to make this swap happen? Do you even want to make the swap?
THE 2019 DRAFT PARTY
- Where? At the Canadian Brewhouse (Lewis Estates – 1320 Webber Greens Dr NW)
- When? Friday, June 21st, doors open at 4:30 pm
- How much? $10 per ticket
- What do you get? Free pizza card from the Brewhouse, $10 Oodle Noodle promo card, Nation stickers, chance to win a signed RNH jersey provided by ATB Financial and draw prizes.
- Where can I buy? Get your tickets here before they sell out!
- Why? Because we love to party
Tickets are available here and will be on sale straight through until the date of the party. Thanks so much for the support and we look forward to seeing you there.