We now know the full details of Milan Lucic's contract, the massive seven year deal he signed to become an Edmonton Oiler, and it's the kind of deal that can come back and bite a franchise in the butt.
According to a report from Jonathan Willis in the Edmonton Journal, Lucic's new deal is heavily loaded with signing bonuses, especially in the final years of the deal, effectively making the deal "buyout proof." Here's how it breaks down according to Willis:
2016-17: $4.0 million salary/$4.0 million signing bonus
2017-18: $4.0 million salary/$4.0 million signing bonus
2018-19: $3.5 million salary/$3.5 million signing bonus
2019-20: $3.0 million salary/$3.0 million signing bonus
2020-21: $1.0 million salary/$3.0 million signing bonus
2021-22: $2.5 million salary/$2.5 million signing bonus
2022-23: $1.0 million salary/$3.0 million signing bonus
You can't help but draw a comparison to the contract the Maple Leafs handed out to David Clarkson, one that turned out to be an unmitigated disaster for the organization, and one that is now a major headache for the Blue Jackets. While Lucic is clearly a much more established player and is unlikely to struggle in the way Clarkson did, 5 years from now we may be looking at a very different player, one that could carry a massive and immovable cap hit for the Oilers.