The moving of Milan Lucic?
Ed Duhatschek of The Athletic: With Michael Ferland signing in Vancouver last week, Milan Lucic’s chances of going home shrunk to all but zero. A Milan Lucic for James Neal swap makes some sense for both teams and results in little change AAV wise.
Now, would Lucic waive his NTC to go to Calgary? It’s a great question. Milan Lucic playing second line power-play minutes is not a bad option along with third or fourth line minutes at even strength for balance. James Neal could step into the top-six and have a chance to put last year behind him.
Jesse Puljujarvi and yes, Mike Smith too…
Kurt Leavins of The Edmonton Journal: Sadly, the unhappy Jesse Puljujarvi waits for a trade to happen. Ken Holland called his agent’s bluff and basically, we sit in a holding pattern. Puljujarvi playing for Edmonton becomes more and more likely each day. After all, showcasing the forward may be a way to move him later on.
Steve Yzerman used the same blueprint for Jonathan Drouin and ultimately shipped him to Montreal when his value went up. Yzerman learned from Ken Holland of course. European leagues have training camps set to open with limited budgets which further decreases Jesse Puljujarvi’s options. Now, everyone waits.
Mike Smith is a prime bounce-back candidate despite his age (37) and inevitable risk. He has seven seasons out of the last ten that was above NHL average. His playoff performance was better than it appeared as well. Do not be surprised if Smith even becomes a 1A in Edmonton at some point.
The Hockey News take on Edmonton’s free agency
We leave this right here…