The Milan Lucic and Loui Eriksson trade rumours have popped up once again, but should the Vancouver Canucks really consider swapping the two?
There’s little questioning that the Vancouver Canucks would love to unload the final three years of Loui Eriksson‘s $36 million pact, but general manager Jim Benning won’t be able to do so without taking on a comparable contract in return.
It just so happens that the Edmonton Oilers are desperate to move out the final four years of Milan Lucic‘s $42 million contract. Both he and Eriksson would benefit from fresh starts. No doubt about it.
Two weeks ago, Jason Gregor of TSN 1200 appeared on TSN 1040 and said a source told him that Benning and company talked about swapping Eriksson for Lucic. The trade rumours surrounding those two popped up yet again on Saturday.
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TSN’s Darren Dreger discussed this topic and said “the Vancouver Canucks do see value in” Lucic. Dreger believes that if the Canucks were to “consider” this trade, “there would have to be some type of sweetener coming from” Edmonton.
If they were to get a good roster player, quality prospect or draft pick in such a trade, it would make sense for the Canucks to swap Eriksson (three more years at a $6 million cap hit, per CapFriendly), for Lucic (four more years at a $6 million cap hit).
But as Ryan Biech of Canucks Army noted, trading for Lucic comes with quite a risk: He carries a no-movement clause, which means Vancouver would be forced to protect him in the 2021 Seattle expansion draft.
That’s just simply too risky for the Canucks, who will need to protect all of their core players plus any other notable players they add to the roster over the next two years. Unless the Oilers throw in one big-time sweetener (unlikely if it means just saving $6 million for one year), then the Canucks might be better off staying away entirely.
However, you can make a case that the Canucks should take a gamble on Lucic anyway. He may only have 39 goals over three seasons with the Oilers, but he has registered five campaign of 20-plus goals and 50 or more points. And with a career Corsi For percentage of 53.6, Lucic has more value than you might think.
If not, then the Canucks can just hang onto Eriksson and look to buy him out in 2020 or 2021. It’s really up to Benning to decide if it’s worth taking on Lucic for the extra year, and if it’s worth adding a player who will take up one of their player protection spots in two years.