Brough must have a crystal ball or something, because hours after he wrote how interesting a free agent Milan Lucic will be, there’s news about Lucic’s contract situation.
Per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Kings are interested in re-signing Lucic and want to begin contract talks in the not-too-distant future.
“[Lucic] loves being there, and the Kings recently reached out to Lucic’s camp and said ‘listen, let’s get something going in the new year. We want to keep this guy around.’
“Obviously, they’ve got to get [Anze] Kopitar done first, but they’d like to retain Lucic.”
Lucic, 27, is in the last of a three-year, $18 million deal with a $6M average annual cap hit. His production on a line alongside top scorers Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli has been great this year — 10 goals, 18 points — and while there’s no doubt Kings GM Dean Lombardi would like to keep that trio together, it will financially difficult.
Per war-on-ice, L.A. has just under $50 million committed to only 14 players next year. The Kopitar contract will undoubtedly be huge, and Lombardi also needs to keep some money available for when Toffoli and Tanner Pearson go RFA in ’17-18.
All of this begs the question: Would Lucic take a haircut to stick with the Kings? Because remember, for as much as he’d love to stay in L.A., the lure of Vancouver is there as well.
In August, Lucic called playing for his hometown Canucks “a dream of mine since I’ve been a kid.”