Report: Lucic headed East?

Multiple reports indicate that the Oilers may finally have a trade partner for the underachieving forward.

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With all the pomp and circumstance surrounding NHL free agency the past week, the spotlight has dimmed on the NHL’s trade market. Sure, there was last week’s trade between the Buffalo Sabres and St. Louis Blues that saw Ryan O’Reilly, Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka change localities, but other than that it’s been radio silence in regards to the NHL’s top trade targets.

There’s no word out of Ottawa on the trade status of Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson following a false alarm earlier this week. Ditto for the Carolina Hurricanes and forward Jeff Skinner. Edmonton Oilers forward Milan Lucic has been the target of trade rumors and wild trade speculation for months, but there’s been no indication of a Lucic deal since Fox Sports’ Andry Strickland reported in June that the Oilers had a deal in place:

Some rumblings Oilers have deal in place to move Lucic. We shall see

Obviously that deal never came to fruition and all we can do now is speculate as to what the deal was and why it fell apart. 

It’s possible however that the New York Rangers were involved, as Blue Seat Blogs reporter Dave Shapiro maintains that the Blueshirts are working on a deal to take on Lucic and his $6 million annual salary.

Check it out:

I’m hearing from multiple sources that the Rangers are committed to bringing Milan Lucic in. No word on cost just yet. More to come.

Interesting. No word on the return just yet, but it’s worth pointing out that the Rangers currently have an incredible $23 million in cap space. General manager Jeff Gorton has to negotiate deals for restricted free agents Kevin Hayes, Ryan Spooner, Jimmy Vesey and Brady Skjei, but he should have more than enough left over to take on Lucic and his contract, especially if the Oilers elect to retain salary.

If the Rangers are looking to add some more offensive punch, Lucic could be their best bet. No doubt he’ll come cheap as Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli would surely love to simply unload Lucic’s $6 million annual salary from his team’s books.