As two Canadian teams spent most of the past year at the centre of trade rumors instead of at the centre of playoff contention, it now seems appropriate that a trade could be on the verge of being completed seeing that the season is over and the Washington Capitals have been crowned champions.
The Montreal Canadiens have been studying the possibility of making a bold move to get out of their funk, as captain Max Pacioretty and top forward Alex Galchenyuk spent most of the season on the trade block. However, it seems that now another forward could land on the trade market as Habs general manager Marc Bergevin might be targeting another player from another Canadian team.
Edmonton Oilers gritty forward Milan Lucic had quite the embarrassing season, however, Bergevin has had in eye on the veteran forward for a few years now. Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli needs to find a way to get back on track and keep his job intact, and the two general managers might choose to make a major trade to shake things up.
Oilers insider Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal believes that trading Lucic for forward Andrew Shaw could be in the works. Matheson reports that the Habs were looking to sign Lucic back in 2016, however, the veteran ended signing a whooping seven-year, $42 million contract with the Oilers. The fact that Montreal needs bigger forwards could make this trade possible.
"Would Chiarelli look at, say, feisty winger Andrew Shaw in Montreal, who makes $3.9 million for four more years and is 27 in July? The Habs have too many small forwards. Could the Oilers pick up a percentage of Lucic’s contract to make that work, and give up a draft pick, too?" wonders Matheson in his latest column.
However, Matheson thinks the fans should cut Lucic some slack for the bad season he had. If the same thing happens in 2018-19, Matheson believes a contract buyout is a better option than trading Lucic to any team, including Montreal. And don't expect the Oilers to sweeten the deal by adding their first round pick in there!
“I can’t see any market for Milan Lucic based on what happened this year … it’s not just a bad contract with a player who had a miserable year, it’s the five more years left,” said Craig Button, the former Calgary Flames GM and TSN commentator. “You’ll have to take back a player with five more years too and hope on him. I think the the Oilers have two choices on Milan. Suck it up for a year and see if he rebounds or buy him out right now.”
"Lucic had one awful NHL season in the last eight years. Cut him some slack. You’re also selling very low.There’s no real upside to trading him, although I’ve always liked Shaw’s scrappiness, but he’s never had more than 39 points in a season. He’s a third-line disturber," concludes Matheson.