Take a quick tour around NHL salary cap database CapFriendly.com and it doesn’t take long to notice that Milan Lucic’s seven year, $42 million contract sticks out like a sore thumb.
Brent Seabrook’s $6.875 million cap hit with the Chicago Blackhawks looks ugly, but at least the Blackhawks have three Stanley Cups to show for their commitment to Seabrook. As for Lucic… well the Oilers have just one 50 point season and some rapidly declining production to show for their $6 million annual commitment. It’s safe to say that, at this point, Lucic’s signing was a massive mistake by Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli and, apparently, one that he hasn’t been able to get out of just yet.
In his latest 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reveals that while seeking a new start, Lucic requested a trade from Oilers management this past offseason.
Check it out:
Before discussing his current role, let’s go back to the summer. Lucic wanted a new start, and asked to be traded. Has that changed?
“Yes, yes,” he answered. “I have embraced being in Edmonton and being an Oiler. I am here as long as they need me.”
The powerful winger met with a sports psychologist to change his attitude.
“We worked on changing my thought process. Stop living in the past. Stop thinking, ‘What if?’ Stop thinking so much about what happened in Boston. Yeah, it was great. But stop living in the past and trying to recreate the past. Focus on being part of a group trying to create something for the future.”
So… what does this mean moving forward? Is Lucic an Oiler for life, or does he still have one foot out the door? No one's for sure, but with just one goal and seven points through 31 games this season... well frankly, who would even want Lucic at this point? It might be sad to say, but it looks like a contractual buyout is in the 30 year old winger's future.