NHL Rumors: Canucks, Canadiens, Sabres and Oilers

NHL Rumors: Canucks, Canadiens, Sabres and Oilers

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The Edmonton Oilers may have to give Milan Lucic another year as a trade may not be possible and a buyout better served next year.
On the Vancouver Canucks …

Rick Dhaliwal: Pending RFA Troy Stecher on Sportsnet650 on his status and contract situation: “It isn’t on my mind – its out of my control. I set my goals when I originally signed with Vancouver and I’m content with what I accomplished but I’m obviously motivated to get better.”

On the Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres …

Mike Harrington: (asked about Montreal radio suggesting the Canadiens could offer Phillip Danault, Ryan Poehling and a second-round pick for Ryan O’Reilly) If the Canadiens are really interested in O’Reilly, Sabres GM Jason Botterill should be starting at the third overall pick.

On the Edmonton Oilers …

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: If the Oilers are already looking to trade Milan Lucic, it would mean that GM Peter Chiarelli is admitting that Lucic’s seven-year, $42 million contract was a mistake.

Lucic has a no-movement clause in his deal. Chiarelli and Lucic’s agent are not commenting on the speculation.

The 30-year old scored just one goal from December 23rd to the end of the season and had trouble keeping up with the pace of the game.

Despite this, he’s still second on their depth chart on the left side behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and can’t see them rushing to trade him.

They could wait another year to see how he rebounds, and with the Seattle expansion coming and players with NMC needing protection, something could come up. If he has another bad season, a buyout could become an option.

Buying out after next season would spread $16 million over eight years.

The only way to move him now would be to find a team that has the cap room, has a bad contract to move as well, and possibly the Oilers having to toss in another piece.

The Canadiens were interested in Lucic in 2016. Would Andrew Shaw, who has four years left at $3.9 million an option? Would the Oilers retain some salary and toss in a draft pick?

A Lucic for Louis Eriksson trade would be a wash. Other bad contracts the Oilers wouldn’t be interested in: Andrew Ladd ($5.75 million through 2023-24), Bobby Ryan ($7.25 million for four years), Frans Nielsen ($5.25 through 2021-22) and Corey Perry ($8.6 million for three years).

“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.”