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Could The Oilers Actually Trade Milan Lucic?

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(heavy breathing)

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Edmonton Oilers v Ottawa Senators
I’ve got a lot of nice things to say about Peter Chiarelli if he can unload Milan Lucic’s cap hit.
Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

Yesterday I wrote about how Milan Lucic needs to have a bounce-back season for the Edmonton Oilers in 2018-19.

Today, there’s some talk that the Oilers might actually be looking at moving the left winger who has term and salary, which, I’ve got to be honest, I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around. Lucic comes with term (five more years) and a lot of cap hit (6MM a year). There’s that pesky no-movement clause that the Oilers will have to work around as well.

Add to the mix that Milan Lucic had (by just about anyone’s standards) a bad season last year. and moving him seems like an unlikely scenario. Or is it?

My understanding, and the reason that Milan Lucic is on our (trade) list is because, from my understanding they’re trying and talking to teams about potentially taking another contract back even if that means sweetening the pot with a pick or some other roster player in order to make it happen. They are pushing, or at least doing their due diligence and working to try and move on from Milan Lucic if they can. (Frank Seravalli, The Lowdown with Lowetide)

Well hellooooo there.

NO OFFER IS TOO RIDICULOUS!

I’m not suggesting that the Oilers trade Milan Lucic at all costs, but I am suggesting that the Oilers try to trade him at...most costs. He just turned 30 years of age today, he’s got five more years on his deal at six million per year. He scored 34 points last year. While it’s completely plausible that he scores more than 34 points next year, how’s that going to look in two or three years?

The Oilers would be doing themselves a grave disservice if they didn’t turn every rock over in this situation. They’ve got little cap space to work with this offseason, and if they can somehow relieve themselves of Lucic’s big money deal, they might actually be able to take an honest dip into the free agent pool this season.

Even if they had to take a bad contract in return, it’s hard to think it would be worse than five years with a no-movement clause at six million a year.

MAKING IT WORK

OK, let’s assume for this exercise that the Oilers convince Milan Lucic to list eight cities he’d be willing to accept a trade. Can Chiarelli call up Carolina and ship him away for a prospect? For a fifth round pick? For future considerations? Would it take a little more? Maybe a second round pick in next year’s draft? Maybe a first? Hopefully not a first?

DESTINATION UNKNOWN

Would Lucic accept a trade to his hometown club of Vancouver? Carolina is a team that’s got room, a new owner, and Don Waddell as their general manager. Arizona?

Getting out of Lucic’s deal will require some wrangling. The right deal would bring Peter Chiarelli some much needed breathing room for the Oilers this year.

And next year.

And the year after that.

And the year after that.

And the year after that.