Report: Canucks out on Lucic

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Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks are out on Milan Lucic, according to a report from TSN 1040’s Matt Sekeres:

It would seem the club will need to find other ways to fill their MOAR GIANTS! quota…

With Lucic reportedly out of the equation expect the Canucks to turn to one of their secondary targets. Sekeres reports that Loui Eriksson, Andrew Ladd, Troy Brouwer and Darren Helm have now moved to the top of Vancouver’s list and that matches what I’m hearing. I’d also strongly suggest that of those four names, Eriksson is far and away the top priority.

Losing out on Lucic is a bit of a body blow to long-time fans of Vancouver hockey. I mean, we’re talking about a player so highly thought of in Vancouver that one of his shifts in major junior is genuinely a thing of local legend… 

Though Lucic is an impressive top-line calibre forward and probably the prototypical NHL power winger, it’s likely that the deal he’s set to sign tomorrow is going to give the hockey world some serious sticker shock. No one would be surprised were he to sign for seven years and for as much as $7 million per season. As good as Lucic is, that’s a deal that would’ve carried significant risk for the Canucks. 

Of course, it’s not as if Eriksson (30), Ladd (30), Brouwer (31) and Helm (29) don’t come with similar concerns. They certainly do, although the commitment in money and term that might be required to land them probably won’t get into Lucic territory when the market opens tomorrow. It could well get close though.

And it’s worth noting that the space between what Lucic can provide to a team and what, say, Ladd can isn’t mammoth. These are both first-line calibre wingers we’re talking about. Lucic is the more impactful offensive player and is more unique – particularly because of ridiculous, percentage-driving shot efficiency – but Ladd is the superior defensive player and they’ve scored at the same rate at even-strength over the past four seasons. 

Eriksson is similarly an elite two-way winger, though he’s not really a first-line calibre point producer. On the other hand, if he’s playing with the twins – with whom he’s familiar and has shown great chemistry on the international stage – he probably would score at a first-line rate, like he did last season in Boston.

As for Helm and Brouwer, they’re really third-line pieces, though Brouwer’s right-handed shot and ability to contribute on the power play could make him an intriguing backup option should Ladd and Eriksson sign elsewhere. On the other hand, Brouwer’s payday could well be inflated by the stellar performance he put together in the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. And as good as Brouwer has been in big games throughout his career, we’re still talking about a third-line quality point producer at even strength. Committing serious money and term to players with that profile rarely works out well for the team signing the contract.

Now that Lucic has reportedly spurned the Canucks, a major domino has fallen before the sun even rises on July 1. It will surely impact how the club approaches things over the next 24 hours. 

The former Boston Bruins winger might have been a uniquely good fit alongside the Sedin twins, but we’ll never know and there are still some enormously intriguing options available on the market. 

Whatever happens, it should be fascinating. 

  • BrudnySeaby

    No Lucic, best thing that could happen to Canucks hockey…! Now if they could land Ericsson, resign Vrbata and hadn’t allowed Hamhuis to walk out the door for free they would be in an okay shape for next season.

  • TheRealPB

    I wish I hope I pray that this is true. I would take just about any of the other UFAs over Lucic who is highly overrated. Despite the pitch to him I also find it hard to imagine that he has the type of character the management here seem to favor; the whining about the Prout punch or the cheap shots or the real lack of leadership on the Bruins as they slowly sink into the mire make me so confused as to what makes him so desirable (especially given his declining production that’s being masked by much better line mates).

    I really like some of the younger players profiled earlier by CA — I’d love to see us land Eriksson and someone like Pirri.

  • Suzycue123

    This is proof that even when you want to sign a guy, the odds are always stacked against you.

    A week ago, some fans were dreaming about getting two of Stamkos, Lucic and Eriksson. Rebuild complete. Now, we haven’t even hit free-agency and two of those guys are out of the question.

    We will be lucky if we get one of the four guys you listed (Eriksson, Ladd, Brouwer, Helm), because chances are there will be several teams vying for each of their services. Add to that, when these guys sign with other teams, the price tag is going to be so high that we are glad we stood pat.

    Each year there is so much hype around July 1, but it’s as much of a crapshoot, and usually more disappointing, than the draft.

  • Suzycue123

    Hopefully not one of those players signs with Van unless it is on a 2 or 3 year deal (and that ain’t happening).

    Would rather the team take a couple flyers (i.e. 1 year deals) on some of the young UFAs.

  • Kobra

    Thank The Gods……………Now hopefully Edmonton takes him on. This will bode well for the Canucks.

    Why Edmonton would not dump that money into Defence and/or Tending is beyond me.

  • Kobra

    Logic states that the oil trading left wing Hall meant they already had a deal with Lucic. Well fuk him then,but we should go after Ladd he is tough, hates to lose,can score and is likely of much better character. But it just seems that apart from correctly drafting Demko, and Boeser this management team can,t seem to figure much out. And this likely is not lost on players as not a lot of them seem to have this team as a high priority. Just seems like this franchise has a bad luck cloud following it like Charlie Brown. I mean starting with the fact we hit a miracle and swept 3 games in california last year at the end of the season to throw our chances at number1 out, just horrible! Then we wind up picking number5,assured almost of landing a great young offensive talent,then Columbus steals the thunder and takes Dubois? Then the Oilers who need dmen take Puulivarvi instead of Jeolevi? Likely because that was an obvious can,t miss big forward,then we leave a goal scoringnet presence in Tkachuk for Calgary to osmirk about and we take a maybe dman? Benning assumes he can land this primadona Lucic and right now we have barely improved while the rest of the western teams get better!

  • andyg

    The idea that this is a kick in the gut for Canuck fans is not true. Most fans will be happy if they fail to land any boat anchor contracts.
    Most fans want a youth movement and I personally think ownership is missing the opertunity to sell a rebuild.
    They should be looking for 3 year deals at the most.
    Brouwer and Helm would suite me just fine.

    If Eriksson wants a five year deal then move on. I would rather them pay him seven mil for 3 Then get into long term.

    Find young players. Try to make a trade for a young forward.

  • Dman

    I’m up for another year of team tank, let’s stand pat and pick off a player from a team with cap issues. Another top ten pick in the draft, we are golden.

  • Kobra

    It is quite evident the last few years of how everyone thinks Edmonton is going to be a powerhouse team the following season. But after reflecting the last few years results Edmonton is happiest when they are drafting first so all their moves will be to make sure they can be the team in rebuild forever, much like Toronto still don’t know why people use Edmonton and Toronto as shining examples of building through the draft. Happy Canucks won’t be in running for Lucic.

  • Kobra

    Stamkos, Subban, Lucic… Sad to say but it will be a fourth tier player. Not a revelation for anyone but at least a couple more real high draft years will be needed and a couple more years of development before the team is competitive again.

  • andyg

    Dodged a bullet for sure.

    It would be hard to imagine a guy like Looch playing on line with bonafide good citizens like the Twins.

    I recall the time when he threatened Dale Wiese in the handshake line when Boston lost in the playoffs. Not the kind of guy that I would want to root for.

    Most fans will sleep better tonight knowing we’re not being hamstrung with an albatross contract.

  • TheRealRusty

    Stop chasing over priced UFAs and wasting valuable cap space. Your pursuit of second tier 30 year old UFAs is your attempt to sugar coat what you screwed up all year and at the trade deadline. Any true Canucks fan has endured an eternity of mediocrity and would put up with a few more if you just level with us TLJB. Just gut the damn thing and please do a proper rebuild.

    • Cageyvet

      He’s drowning his sorrows somewhere (I’m assuming he’s not 13, but I’m not totally convinced of that) since Stamkos is also gone….the guaranteed win team is slipping away…

  • Cageyvet

    i’m preparing to be underwhelmed again today. i think that’s the pattern so far this year: trade deadline, draft day,and now the july 1st trifecta. it’s not a bad thing exactly, just a pattern. no big fish are probably that interested. “play with the sedins? ” ya sure. i’m guessing they’re not buying that line much anymore.

  • Cageyvet

    Not unexpected. Vancouver is a beautiful city but the hockey team is in disarray as we’re stuck in this “try to win” rebuild. Our roster lacks the top end talent to win and the free agents see this and want no part of this team. Time to commit to a rebuild, manage our assets better and stockpile draft picks.