Let's say it without sugar-coating it: Milan Lucic sucked last season with the Edmonton Oilers. His statistics speak for themselves: the veteran forward ended up with 10 goals, his lowest full-season total since he potted eight in his rookie campaign with the Boston Bruins back in 2007-08 and 13 fewer than he had in his first year with the Oilers in 2016-17.
It was a dreadful season for Edmonton, and for Lucic of course. Ahead of the upcoming training camp and season, Lucic vowed he will be back to the old Lucic this season after last year's miserable performance.
However we cannot forget the many trade rumors that circled around him this summer. There were reports earlier this summer that the Oilers were looking to move the gritty forward and his $6-million cap hit, which is on the books until the end of the 2022-23 season from the unrestricted free-agent deal Lucic signed two summers ago with Edmonton.
Gene Principe and Mark Spector of Sportsnet addressed the rumors with the veteran, who keeps denying that he is the one who requested to be traded.
"I have not asked to be moved, I want to come back here and re-establish myself," Lucic told Spector.
There have been some theories floating around that Lucic needs to trim down to keep up with the new-style game, and so he was asked if he had lost weight over the summer.
"Well, it’s tough to lose weight when you’re already eight, nine per cent body fat," he said, admitting to have worked out with Chad Moreau this summer, the brother of ex-NHLer Ethan. "I spent more time on the ice this summer than the last couple of summers."
Lucic does not appear to be keen on the idea of losing weight, he who says that he’s the same weight since he was 22 years old, continuing to measure in at 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds.
For the upcoming season, Lucic is not the only one in Edmonton looking to re-establish himself as the entire roster is looking to do better and become once again a Stanley Cup contender. Oilers fans will surely be encouraged to hear all of this.
Photo Credit: Zuma Press