After the Kings were eliminated from the postseason, Milan Lucic said he wanted to stay with the Los Angeles Kings. A few weeks have gone by and the two sides don’t appear to be close to striking a new deal.
If Lucic is one-and-done in Los Angeles, where could he end up? Well, he might look north of the border.
According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, Edmonton and Vancouver are two of the possible landing spots for Lucic if he makes it to July 1st without a new contract from the Kings.
“There was quite a push between both sides to get a deal done before the playoffs started. They got pretty deep, but they didn’t get a deal done,” said LeBrun on TSN’s Insider Trading segment.
“Since then, there hasn’t been that much. I still believe the LA Kings want to sign Milan Lucic and I think Milan Lucic wants to remain a King, but as we get closer to July 1st, Milan Lucic has grown open to the possibility of having to go to market. I think there’s a couple of teams we can count on to make an offer. His hometown Vancouver Canucks would make an offer and so will, I believe, the Edmonton Oilers.”
As LeBrun mentioned, Lucic is from Vancouver so a homecoming could be in order. As for his connection to the Oilers, general manager Peter Chiarelli is the one who signed Lucic to his current contract when both were in the Bruins organization. Of course, potentially playing on a line with Connor McDavid wouldn’t hurt either.
Lucic came with a cap hit of $6 million, but the Kings were only on the hook for $3.25 million (Boston retained the rest). If he hits the open market, he might be able to command a similar salary. With Anze Kopitar‘s $10 million contract kicking in in 2016-17, there may not be room for Lucic in Los Angeles.
The 27-year-old had 20 goals and 55 points in 81 games during the 2015-16 season. It was the fourth time he hit the 20-goal mark in his career.