The Calgary Flames had already lost one potential trade acquisition a couple weeks ago when they were had completed a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs for Nazem Kadri only to see the veteran center refuse to waive his no-trade clause and reject the trade. That option could have been in front of Calgary a second time Friday as Milan Lucic seriously considered refusing to waive his no-movement clause, but a conversation with an old friend, Jarome Iginla, changed his mind.
“I had a really good talk with Jarome,” Lucic told the Flames website (via NHL.com). “He told me what a great hockey town Calgary is, how much the people are behind the Flames. It’s a fan base that loves seeing effort. They obviously want to win, but regardless, they love the heart-and-soul guys, the guys who give their all, who don’t compromise, which I like to think speaks to the way I play.”
Lucic and Iginla played together for one season with the Boston Bruins back in the 2013-14 season and spent a lot of time together that years as linemates. After the discussion with Iginla, Lucic agreed to the waive his no-movement clause and the deal commenced in which the Oilers swapped James Neal and a conditional third-rounder to round out the deal.
- Now that the Edmonton Oilers have successfully rid themselves of Milan Lucic’s contract, many fans have focused their attention on the team’s defense, with the belief that general manager Ken Holland must target the contract of Kris Russell, who has two years remaining at $4MM AAV and has proven he’s not a top-four defenseman. However, Edmonton Journal’s David Staples writes that the team might be better off holding onto Russell, unless they can add a top-six forward in a deal for him, which seems unlikely. Russell has proven to a be a defensively sound blueliner and at least should provide solid play on the third line, who might be able to hold his own if an injury occurs.
- In a mailbag piece, The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman (subscription required) writes that anyone hoping that Los Angeles Kings 2019 draft pick Alex Turcotte (the fifth overall pick) might break training camp with the team, will be disappointed. The team has a plan already in place in which Turcotte, who many had positioned as the best player in the draft after Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, will play one season for Tony Granato and the University of Wisconsin and will not even be at training camp in September.
- Eric Stephens of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that the Anaheim Ducks future looks better next season as the team should have just a few of their own free agents to deal with and even fewer contracts of significance. They will have a handful of restricted free agents, including Brendan Guhle and Troy Terry, but unless either has a breakout season, there is little for the team to worry about. The team’s biggest free agent will be veteran Patrick Eaves, who has played just nine games over two seasons as he has dealt with health problems since being acquired. The scribe writes the team would be extremely unlikely to bring the 35-year-old back and that free space should give the team about $19-20MM in available cap space next summer.