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Report: Canucks have interest in Lucic

It’s the storyline that never seems to go away – Milan Lucic coming to the Canucks.

That idea got a little more traction today as Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger brought up the idea on Insider Trading:

The full video can be found here:

Now, it’s not simply the “Canucks have an interest” and thus it is something that will happen. It’s a more complicated matter than that with the major obstacles being the contracts involved.

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.

So, there is a clear trail of desire on the Canucks management side and they likely view this as a chance to get the player that they’ve been chasing for a while and also move out Eriksson’s contract.

Eriksson has three years left with an AAV of $6.0M per season while Lucic has four years left at the same compensation. Not to mention that although Lucic would have to waive his NMC to come to the Canucks, it would only be for the trade and thus would remain for the duration of the term with the Canucks. Thus the organization would be forced to protect him in the upcoming expansion draft.

That is where the issue comes up and why the need for a sweetener to be added on the Oilers side of the ledger.

Ultimately, the Canucks are likely wanting more depth within the organization, so I would expect them wanting a prospect that has some sort of NHL future to be the added piece.

It also depends on if the Canucks covet what Lucic brings more than what Eriksson does and are willing to accept the burden on having to protect Lucic in the upcoming expansion draft. It would have to be a nice sweetener.

Read also: Lucic speculates about playing in Vancouver 5/2/2019

  • Holmes

    Lucic is slow but I think he’d be valuable in the playoffs when the game becomes more about attrition and being able to absorb the other team’s best punch – sometimes literally.

    Blues and Bruins are pounding on each other. I think ML would have a place in a series like that.

    Problem is aside from Bouchard and Yamamoto, that’s not a great prospect pool to obtain the sweetner.

    • Defenceman Factory

      There is a good chance the place for Lucic in the current Bruins Blues series is in the press box. I believe the speed of the league has passed him by.

    • VvV

      That’s a common misconception that Lucic is slow, especially among NHL fans who don’t watch him game in and game out. He actually moves around the ice well, there’s no way he would have the amount of hits he dies if he didn’t. His issue has purely been his offense has fell off a cliff. And he actually creates chances just hasn’t capitalized much, he is a superior player to Erickson, the sweeter would not be anything more than a low end prospect or a 3rd rounder at best.

      • j2daff

        so what you are really saying is the oilers will not give up enough to make a deal worth the canucks time? Fair enough, they can chew on that contract for the next 4 years while the canucks use LE to kill penalties or move his contract to a budget team in reality without having to pay a team to take it. Don’t see the oilers getting anyone to take that contract for as little as a 3rd.

  • Doodly Doot

    Is Lucic worthy of playing with guys like Horvat and Pettersson let alone Roussel? Nope. If this isn’t just baked news, I hope the management team wakes up from it’s flu dream before it’s too late.

  • Kanuckhotep

    There is absolutely no advantage to acquiring Milan Lucic whatsoever. Too old, too slow and too expensive. Throwing in Bouchard or their 1st round pick is just a dream which I doubt Holland would be party to. Great click bait topic certainly but how he is any better than Loui needs to be explained to Canucks fans. This is dumber than having Donald Trump as U.S. President.

    • VvV

      He’s actually not slow, as an Oilers fan with season seats who watches every game, he is average and at times above, he moves around well, he would not lead the league in hits if he didn’t.

  • TheRealPB

    Absolutely fascinating to read about this rumor here (where half the people think that the Oilers would have to give up Bouchard or a first rounder to make the deal work) and on Oilers blogs (where everyone thinks either the Canucks have to give a sweetener or they’d at most give up a 4th rounder, not even Tyler Benson). The consensus seems to be that the Canucks fans hate Eriksson and the Oilers fans hate Lucic, but both fanbases apparently think that these terrible contracts and generally shockingly underwhelming players are somehow worth high picks and prospects because…

    The only times we’ve really seen truly bad contracts get moved is because either it’s not real money and its been insured or it’s because a team with deep pockets is able to absorb real money. The Leafs took on Nathan Horton’s contract to get cap relief for David Clarkson’s but it cost them $22 million in real money (because Horton’s contract was uninsured but Clarkson’s is, which means the Blue Jackets and now Vegas pay 20% of its value whereas the Leafs pay the real dollar figure for Horton, even if they got the cap hit removed). But no prospects changed hands in that — bad contract for bad contract straight up.

    Bickell did get the Blackhawks a 2nd and a 3rd from Carolina but it cost them Teravainen, who is by far the best player in that deal. Bolland got the Panthers a 2nd and a 3rd but only because they threw in Lawson Crouse, who was a 1st rounder. I just think both the Canucks and Oilers should move on from this terrible set of mistakes. And I still think Eriksson because of the real money (half of his hit) after July 1 has a way more movable contract than Lucic. Also he doesn’t move like he’s got Marchand strapped to his back.

    • Cageyvet

      PB, I like your comments, but I’m not sure what your bottom line is on this one. Saying they should move on from this set of mistakes leaves me a bit puzzled. How exactly? Suck it up and don’t overpay to shed the contracts? Or do you see a way for them to move these players (and not for each other). In any case, count me amongst those who would need a Lucic deal to include Bouchard or their 1st round pick, plus LE going the other way, of course. Will that happen? Almost certainly not, but the Canucks shouldn’t be that desperate to move Eriksson. Swing for the fences with Edmonton, or wait a year until it’s more favourable and move him for whatever you can get, while retaining salary.

      • Mike Bossy

        I’m 100% with this comment. LE’s contract is horrible at first glance, but once you get into the real money/no NMC etc, it’s a very movable contract…unlike Lucic.
        EDM can keep Lucic with his NMC, term and his, at best, 4th line skills now.

      • TheRealPB

        Should’ve been clearer — the discussion about swapping these two bad contracts should end. I still think we have more value out of Eriksson than an additional year of the younger Lucic, either just as a hugely overpaid fourth liner or as someone an internal cap team might take on to reach the floor. I agree with what you’ve written.

    • Eriksson is overpaid and doesn’t score enough but it’s not like he’s creating a problem like Lucic’s NMC or a cap crunch like in TO. If we can’t find a taker who wants the cap hit but not salary (e.g. Ottawa), then we could simply keep Eriksson and continue to try to find linemates with whom he can produce. We don’t need to trade a perceived problem for a real problem.

  • Mike Bossy

    While I understand some people value Lucic’s size and grit etc. I can’t believe that they haven’t realised that the game has changed. Grit is still important as we can see with the Blues and Bruins but everyone playing there can skate – Lucic is done.
    As for the trade itself, in order for this conversation to even start, there has to be sweeteners from the Oil, Lucic +++. This is because we’ll lose a decent player to Seattle due to protecting Lucic, so it’s not just LE we’re trading, it’s already LE+, then another + for that extra year…then another + because LE is actually a better player than Lucic.