This would have been gigantic for the Edmonton Oilers franchise.
The Edmonton Oilers have made some major overhauls this offseason regarding their front office personnel and coaching staff, but there are many out there who believe that even with new faces in the general manager and head coaching positions it will simply be more of the same from the Oilers. Now to be fair to the critics there is very good reason to be skeptical of things moving forward, but one thing that has become crystal clear is the fact that general manager Ken Holland has absolutely no intention of maintaining the status quo.
There have already been multiple rumors this offseason that have linked Holland to a number of trade talks, but perhaps the most interesting rumor in this regard has just been dropped by Los Angeles Kings insider Denis Bernstein of The Fourth Period. In a recent article for the aforementioned publication Bernstein detailed how the Los Angeles Kings and the Edmonton Oilers held talks regarding a trade that would have brought both former Oilers first round draft pick Jesse Puljujarvi and veteran forward Milan Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings.
Now we have all heard rumors regarding the fact that the Oilers are attempting to package Puljujarvi with Lucic in an effort to get Lucic's terrible contract, one handed out by former Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli, off their books. What comes as a major surprise to me, and I am sure to many of you, is that there was actually a team out there willing to contemplate such an offer from the Oilers. I suppose given Lucic's history with the Kings, arguably one of the most successful periods of his NHL career from an offensive standpoint, that the Kings feel there remains a way to extract value out of the bruising forward. Lucic has been working with a skills development coach in Los Angeles during the offseason as well it is possible that the Kings are intimately familiar with where he is at this stage of his career.
So the question of course is what would the Oilers get in return? Well as you would expect the answer is something approximating not much. According to Bernstein the Oilers were looking at a return of 22 year old undrafted winger Matt Luff as well as a draft pick which Bernstein did not identify. Luff appeared in just his first NHL season with the Kings last year and played in 33 games while recording 8 goals and 3 assists for a total of 11 points on the season. Prior to that he spent parts of 3 seasons in the American Hockey League with the Ontario Reign.
It sounds like the Kings have, in my opinion, wisely walked away from this deal and Lucic's contract, but Berstein has suggested we keep Luff's name in mind in case a deal between these two does indeed get completed somewhere down the line. If the Kings were indeed to take Lucic from the Oilers, bo doubt fans in Edmonton would be celebrating in the streets.
Photo Credit: Kostas Lymperopoulos/CSM/Zuma