How many misses has Peter Chiarelli had as the Oilers GM? He’s got rid of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and essentially Mat Barzal. He replaced Hall with a combination of Larsson and Milan Lucic, he replaced Eberle with Ryan Strome, and he replaced Mat Barzal with nobody because Griffin Reinhart was taken in the expansion draft.
The NHL has clearly changed throughout the last few years, no longer are the big and strong teams going to bully you anymore. That has been replaced by smaller, skilled and most importantly fast players.
Peter Chiarelli was oblivious to that in 2016 when he traded the speedy Taylor Hall and essentially replaced him when he signed the big and physical Milan Lucic.
In Lucic’s first season with the Oilers, he had 50 points in 82 games and the Oilers made the playoffs for the first time in since 2006. In his 2nd season, he had just 10 goals and 34 points which has led to his name being brought up in numerous trade discussions.
Do not @ me by saying the Lucic signing was ‘necessary’ to change the culture and make the playoffs. The Oilers have a guy named Connor McDavid who’s pretty good and is probably the best player in the world, eventually they were going to make the playoffs with him.
Is there a market for Lucic?
He still has 5 years left with an AAV of $6 million per year. That’s a pretty high salary for a guy who has lots of heavy miles on his body and only had 10 goals this year. Many people are attaching the Oilers 10th overall pick to a potential Lucic deal. While I do believe in drafting and developing, I’d trade the pick. A player taken at 10 is at least 3 years away from making any type of impact.
Freeing up Lucic’s contract could help the Oilers attract a goal scoring free agent, either James Van Riemsdyk or James Neal. Both of which are faster and better around the net (exactly what the Oilers need on their struggling powerplay).
It is possible that Lucic bounces back to a 45-50 point player, but after he fell so far off last year and in now 30. It’s hard to believe he has any type of upwards trend in the future
PHOTO: Milan Lucic , The Canadian Press