For sometime there have been rumblings that the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks were planning on trading headache for headache in the forms of Milan Lucic and Loui Eriksson. Both players were signed during the summer of 2016 , arguably one of the worst years for players being signed to contracts that they could not live up to.
Milan Lucic - Seven years - 42 million
Kyle Okposo - Seven years - 42 million
Andrew Ladd - Seven years - 38.5 million
Loui Eriksson - Six years - 36 million
Frans Nielsen - Six years - 31.5 million
Neither Eriksson nor Lucic have come close to living up to the expectations of their respective contracts. After finishing the 2015/2016 season with the Bruins with 30 goals and 63 points, Eriksson has not hit the 30 point mark even once since joining the Canucks.
Meanwhile Milan Lucic finished a one year deal with the Kings with 55 points and followed it up with a 50 point season in Edmonton. Smart people (myself shockingly included) were quick to point out that most of the points Lucic produced in Edmonton that first season were on the powerplay and that his even strength production fell off a cliff. Lucic's stats were 50/50 that year, with 25 points coming at EV and 25 points on the PP.
The following year the PP numbers did not come and his numbers have continued to flatline up to last season where his boxcars were 6-14-20, the worst of his entire career.
Now that we have assessed that both of these players are not good...where does that leave a potential deal?
Eriksson has come out and stated he does not get along 100% with Travis Green, the Canucks coach, and has felt he has been shoehorned into a more defensive role. His ice-time has dropped continuously and averaged a mere 14:04 a game last season.
All in all this is the kind of deal that should be expected if the Oilers can trade Milan Lucic, moving a headache for another headache. If this does end up being a one for one move, Edmonton clearly comes out on top.
Both players have a cap hit of 6 million so neither team gets a leg up on shedding salary, however Eriksson's contract ends after the 2021/2022 season while Lucic's lasts for one year longer. Eriksson will be 36 at the time of his contract expiring while Milan Lucic will be 35.
One of the biggest reasons this trade favours Edmonton has nothing to do with the Canucks or the Oilers... but instead the Seattle TBD's. With another expansion looming in the near future, the Oilers would once again have to waste one of their forwards to protect on Lucic... they would not have to do so with Loui Eriksson.
Eriksson does little to move the needle for offense in Edmonton, but at the very least it provides the Oilers with a bit more offense while avoiding some of the larger negative connotations that the Lucic contract holds. Perhaps the change in environment will do the player wonders and have something of a resurgence and be either an effective player for the Edmonton roster, or an easier trade chip down the line.
Things get more complicated when we introduce this little piece of info
Todd Cordell has already covered this particular topic and I definitely recommend you check out his blog on the subject here
if you haven't already.