The thing with any Lucic "move" is that a scenario is needed for it to make sense. Edm has to realize that there is no "good" move here. Only less painful ones.
3 main factors need to be thought about.
- If its by trade, does the move help Lucic? (He has a NMC so he decides everything. He has to be on board with it)
- If it is a buyout, does the fact of not having Lucic on the roster anymore (along with some small cap saving) help EDM enough in and tangible way?
- Is EDM going for it this year? Win now at all cost or take their time correctly assembling their roster? (Quick'ish retool)
If EDM didn't give a damn about picks, they could just package the 1st 2019 with Lucic to Montreal. Habs have the cap to take Lucic on, MB has had interest in Lucic before/Julien has history with Lucic and adding picks fits in MTL's timeline of what they're doing right now.
But we know that isn't realistic........ That 1st rounder is more valuable than anything losing lucic would bring on and the cost from any other team has to be high enough as Lucic is a major contractual problem to take on. So it'll come down to specific scenario's happening which will decide Lucic being moved out or simply bought out.
The buyout scenario is probably the most realistic but least fun. EDM decides that simply not having Lucic on the roster is an addition by subtraction. His aura no longer hangs over the team and the media no longer have a Chiarelli scapegoat to talk about. Its a intangible benefit mainly but believe it or not, does have some tangible worth. There is some small cap and salary saving but not enough for it to be a real big difference so its mainly the roster clearance here.
The trades people have mentioned to me that make the most sense also all depend on specific scenarios taking place.
- Ryan for Lucic idea. This only makes sense in one scenario. Melnyk's hunger for being as cheap as possible at all cost. Technically speaking, if Ott trades Ryan for Lucic, they could then buyout Lucic and save "X" cap and salary. Means Melnyk saves money for new Lebreton flats ideas. Lol DISCLAIMER: Lucic still needs to ok this as he has a NMC. The idea would be knowing that either EDM or Ott will buy him out, what difference does it make to him, right? So he should not care either way. Ryan although way overpaid, is still a decent player when healthy. The premise here is that they pay slightly more with Ryan to get a player who could actually help them in the top 6. Not to mention one less year on the contract if my memory serves correct.
- Lucic traded with 50% retnetion to 3 different teams so that everyone takes a bit of the cap burden but at a cost. I personally think this idea is absolutely folly and will never happen. Cap is too precious, Lucic even at a much lesser cap is not a great player and the cost for EDM to get all this done would still amount to what they didn't want to give up in the first place so whats the point? They'll still be stuck with 50% of his cap, they'd still have to send a couple decent picks and or prospects in order to get rid of his contract in the first place, Lucic would have to agree to the trade knowing he may play in Arizona..... etc (If its me (Lucic) I would be spiteful and tell management to buy me out if you don't want me). The culmination of all these factors makes this idea IMO not plausible but i'll leave it here since others think its could happen.
- (Bias incoming) My trade idea of Lucic+1st EDM for Alzner+1st MTL or a similar type trade scenario but bias a side, I truly feel this one gives the best bang for the dollar. Both teams get what they want without feeling like they are "losing" the trade. MTL moves up in the draft to hopefully draft a better player. EDM moves down in the draft but still at 15th get a solid prospect. MTL adds Lucic who is a former Julien player, MB has expressed interest in Lucic in free agency before and they slightly increase their cap which they don't care since they have plenty of so real harm done. EDM gets a much easier buyout player with more bang for their buyout buck and use that money towards better players on the roster, not to mention the getting rid of the NMC they'll have to protect in the expansion draft. (Montreal having oodles of cap space will eventually buyout Lucic before the expansion draft though)
The last scenario to be determined in what is EDM trying to do? If its full on panic that McDavid is frustrated with the organization and may want out, then EDM has very little time to react and will need to outright lose the deal. If they convince McDavid that the only way to be the team they want to be is a 2 year process of small wins when they can, then there is absolutely no need to move Lucic at all. Keep him as a 4th liner until you HAVE to buy him out.
Final conclusion? I'm in Holland shoes?........ I tell McDavid, give me two years to make this better. Everyones still young enough and its not going to be a 5 year rebuild. Just a 2 year restructure which within that time they can still try to win, its not like they are tanking they just aren't actively tryingt o win now. Basically only the time needed for Chiarelli's errors to be eradicated/phased out. There is no quick solution in EDM. No magic wand that Steve Yzerman/Kyle Dubas/every other GM in the league could do to make it all go away so either McDavid gets on board or he'll just have to sulk for the remaining time here in EDM because under no circumstances will management trade him. Seeing McDavid's personality, I can't fathom him asking for a trade. he'll honor his contract and simply leave in free agency if he's unhappy.
So if its "screw you, win now or else"? Trade Lucic with the 1st rounder this year to get rid of that cap. Buyout Sekera unless you can trade him with less retention than his buyout cap. Trade Russell with retention for a pick. Use all available money to sway top end UFA's to come to EDM this year and next. Go for it while you have McDavid on contract.
If its the second (Daenarys Targaryen) option, "Ok you got two years, betray me again and I'll burn you alive".
- Keep all draft picks and prospects. Don't trade a single one.
- Don't trade any cap dumps at a major loss for as long as possible unless they either finish their contract or in Lucic's case, need to be bought out to not count against the expansion draft. Only trade anyone unless its a small price to pay or you're actually getting some value back.
- Start finding the best garbage bin pickups known to man. Waivers/UFA's/etc.
- Spend money/cap sparingly or on sure things.
- Be patient and wait for deals to pop up and then pounce. Toronto/TB/Pittsburgh cap situations sell offs, teams giving up on prospects, take other teams 1 year cap dumps for value back, make expansion draft deals in advance, etc.
By the end of the expansion draft, with a little luck* (Ok a fair amount of luck), the Oilers should have their entire core consisting of players they drafted, most of their bad contracts gone, plenty of cap space to use on "sure thing " UFA's and a clear cut direction for the team with every year technically being better than the one previous as players enter their prime and young players evolve.
IMO the second option is the only REAL option for EDM, obviously it can have some variations of what I said would happen but the crux has to be 2 years of taking small steps to being a great team. All other scenarios involve the team
being effected by one mis-step (Bound to happen at least once) rather than the owner having to taking the hit in the pocket book for years of mismanagement. Although EDM fans will fill the arena no matter what so this team shouldn't "lose" money. It just might not make any in the first couple years of this retool for example. (No playoff sales, merchandise sales down, etc)