You don’t often hear an athlete openly discuss hypothetical situations involving them playing for a team other than the one they’re currently signed to. Most players in the NHL simply don’t do it.
Milan Lucic isn’t like most players, though.
“It’s definitely something I wouldn’t rule out. It’s obviously something that could still happen,” Lucic told Sportsnet 650. “Things haven’t gone that well for me here with the Oilers, especially the last year and a half. New GM, new coach, which haven’t even been named yet, so you don’t know what their plan is moving forward and stuff like that. It’s definitely something that potentially could happen.”
Lucic, whose numbers have regressed year-over-year since signing with the Oilers in 2016, has four more years remaining on his contract with an annual salary cap hit of $6 million.
The 30-year-old winger hasn’t always gotten along with the Canucks fan base despite being a popular junior star with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, but says the city is still a place he loves to come home to. He’s also a fan of what Canucks general manager Jim Benning and that staff have done to their roster.
“I think the Canucks right now are a very exciting team,” Lucic said. “I love what Jim’s done as far as building the team within through the draft and developing players he’s done a great job of that. I think Travis [Green] has done a real good job as well from a coaching standpoint. It’s an exciting team, it’s a growing team, and you never know what the future has in store for you.
“I remember doing an interview in ’07 before the [Memorial] Cup and I said it would always be a dream of mine to someday play for the Canucks, and you still have that kid inside of you, you still have that dream of playing for your hometown team and like I said you never know what the future has in store.”
Lucic is set to enter his fourth season with the Oilers, but that franchise is about to embark on what could be a whirlwind off-season as the team has only finished above .500 once in the past decade.