For weeks now, Edmonton Oilers veteran forward Milan Lucic has heard his name in trade chatter and even got whiff of rumors that his length contract could be bought out. While intense rumors circulating ahead of the National Hockey League Entry draft, could Lucic have made the shocking move to ask for a trade?
Chris Nichols cited Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman telling Edmonton’s 630 CHED that he’s looked into rumors of Lucic requesting a trade but was told that wasn’t the case.
“Well, this is what I can tell you about Milan Lucic,” explained Friedman. “There was a rumor going around a week ago that maybe he might have asked for a trade. I was told that was not the case. I asked somebody and they told me that he had not asked for it. But I believe there has been some conversation about is there a way that this can be worked on to make it happen.”
Friedman added that the frustration isn’t with Lucic the player but his contract: a whooping seven-year, $42 million deal. The NHL insider doubts the Oilers will be able to move him and a buyout is more likely than a trade.
Oilers insider Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal thinks the fans should cut Lucic some slack for the bad season he had. If the same thing happens in 2018-19, Matheson also believes a contract buyout is a better option than trading Lucic to any team…
The Athletic’s Allan Mitchell went a step further and suggested three options for the Oilers with Lucic, ultimately feeling the Oilers would be better off sticking with Lucic for another season and improve his trade value.
“Push the big winger onto a feature (Leon Draisaitl) line and hope for a turnaround, run Lucic on a third line that could have more success against softer competition, or trade the big man.”
While Friedman denied the rumour that Lucic has asked for a trade, he still believes the veteran forward would accept a move nonetheless.
“I do think that he would be open to the possibility. If the Oilers and him work together I think there’s a chance that could occur.”
Only time will tell…