Edmonton Oilers 

Edmonton Oilers have tried everything with Milan Lucic. Now what?

[Music]I was about to suggest this great ideato edmonton oilers coach todd McClellanthat he greatly reduced Milan Lucictheis time and play him as a third linechecking winger but in researching thisPisa I realized that McClellan hasessentially already tried thatas well as just about everything elsewith Lucic this doesn't mean that Loochit should not be given the job of thirdline checker playing 12 to 14 minutesper game that's exactly what shouldhappen for a number of reasons but itdoes mean McClellan has already taken aflexible approach to get an improved towear game out of loo Chooch not tomention ending his 27 game goal scoringslump but both coach and player have sofar come up empty so what to do nowhere are 10 terrible truths and takesabout the player in his future with theOilersLucic has five more on a contract thatpays him six million dollars per thatcontract has a no movement clause forthe next three s when Lucius 30 31 and32 when H es 33 and 34 there's a limitedability to move him to one of a handfulof teams that Lutra chooses if thoseteams will have him of coursebefore then there's almost no way tomove him for two reasonsa Lucic can veto any move and BH es gotgreat negative value in trade given hislack of production and two-way successhe can't be sent to the AHL either notwith an N MC in a tradethe Oilers would have to add in picksand players or take on other badcontracts to move out Lucic so clearlythe best-case scenario and perhaps theonly realistic one is for Edmonton andlucha to sort out how he can be a usefulplayer here that's not going to be easyto do but it's a possibility if allparties commit to changeLucic has had a mediocre but he washaving a mediocre before the slumpoutside of one 12 games span in Decemberwhere he found excellent chemistry on aline with Connor McDavid and Jessie Pauljudge RV h es been a week to mediocreNHL er he had 11 points in that hot 12game run of play and his individualscoring chances plus/minus metric hisindividual contributions to scoringchances for compared to his mistakes ofscoring chances against was outstandinga number fit for a realfine winger but outside of that hotstreak Lucic has played like anexpandable winger on a bad NHL teamdespite get heavy minutes with strongtwo-way centers like Connor McDavid Leondraisaitl and the proficient Ryan NugentHopkins h es middle of the pack for oilas wingers in scoring chance metrics soh es had every advantage on the attackover other wingers save for draisaitl acenter wing hybrid and patrick maroonbut his scoring chances plus/minus is inthe same range as i iro Parker inin ZackKassian Anton sloppy chef and DrakeCaggiula pull Jew Javy maroon anddraisaitl are all a major cut aboveLucic the only players are cut belowLucic by this metric Orion's drom andJudah Cara but like draisaitl they'vespent plenty of time at center whetheras more defensive responsibilities andmore chance in the D zone to makemistakes based on its responsibilitieswhen you weigh in that factor the onlyforward on the EULA's performing at alower level than Lucic this year wasmarked litres - who was rightly sentpacking if not for his contract if hewas a free agentthe Oilers would almost certainly saygoodbye to Lou teach this summer as wellat least if he wasn t willing to signfor a greatly reduced bargain contractlikely in the range of $2 to 3 milliondollars on a single bet McClellan'smodus operandi as a coach is to stacktalent on his top two lined but it'sclear that Lucci thas NT earned thatrole this year so if McClellan'spreferred strategy is going to work inthe final games this year and likelygoing forward it can't include lucha CHbig lucha is going to have to find someother way to help the Oilers win thattop six needs players who can fly nextyear it's so likely Ryan Nugent HopkinsConnor McDavid and Jesse pulled you Javyon a top-line with Ryan Stroh more a newwinger Leon draisaitl and perhaps KaylaYamamoto on the second line McClellandshowed me bleached down not just becauseit's right for the player and for theteam but because McClelland alsopreaches that a player has to earn theirtop line and power play time by playinglute Church there the coach is makinghimself look bad at least with theteam's fans I can't speak for the teamitself because I'm never around the teambut one wonders what younger playersthink with Lou sucking up so much ice time this isjust speculation but I could see thatbecoming toxic in a dressing room Loochis not going to live up to his paypacket a cap hitso if boilers fans want to make peacewith having him on the roster they'dbest set aside that expectation it's notgoing to happen and likely won't comeclose to happening that said there'sstill a way for Lucius to help thisOilers team win it seems to me it willcome with a reduced role as a third linetwo-way player and checking hittingspecialist it may not include any powerplay time but could include time on thepenalty kill as Matt Hendricksdemonstrated a bigger slower player canhelp on the PK if he throws his heartsoul and testicles into it as a thirdline role player one who focuses ondefensive excellence shutting down thetop opposing forwards and adding amassive physical element I can seelooted being part of a winning coila'steam it also suggests h es earn therespect of the vast majority of fans ifhe dedicated himself to those grittyarts of course some fans will alwayshate on Lew Church as his signing is amajor part of their contempt for allthings Peter Chiarelli but the majoritywill give credit to the player if he canfind a way to help Edmonton win hockeygames as mentioned earlier McClellan hastried to move leech down the line up forexample h es played five games with jujucare as his center when Kara is yourcenter you are a third line wingerduring this scoring slumpLucic has lost his touch h e's got justfive assists in the 27 games and isminus 13 in official NHL goalsplus/minus that said his two-way playhas been at about the same two way levelof mediocrity that it's been all yearthere's been little change hisindividual scoring chance metrics if youput any weight in that sort of thing forthe record all these scoring chancemetrics are is a few of us keeping trackof the players good and bad plays takingcareful notes and going over oneanother's work before we come up with aconsensus on each scoring chance play Ithink it helps give us a more fair andaccurate take on a player and it surelypoints to his ups and downs during a butyou are free to disagree at the start ofhis 27 game slumpLucic was still playing with MacGyverbut McLellan moved away from thatplaying lute itch next with NewtonHopkins for five games then Kara thendraisaitl for seven games and finallyback to McDavid in the last four gameswhere Lou church has been getting heavyice time again it's in these last fourgames that Lou Church has looked theworst mainly because H es lostconfidence and his hands had turned tostone so H es just not able to connectwith the Edmonton zone RocketmanConnor McDavid in comparison to theNHL's fastest player Lutz it to looklike the slowest and most fumblingwinger in NHL history this combinationis empty close to working out so it'stime to change things up the job of thecoach is to get the right players on theicemeaning finding situations and linemateswhere each player can and cannot succeedthat's going to be a major challengewith Milan Lucic in his 30s but I don'tthink it's impossible so long asexpectations are greatly reduced and hisrole is carry defined and limitedstaples on the city Edmonton inventorsdevise star trek-like diagnostic andsurgical virtual reality tool at thecult of Hakeem Coeur D game grades atthe shark tank with McDavid getting topmark referees less than zero M Coeur Dthree ways oil is are different afterthe deadline staples it was a toughmarket out there Chiarella staplesOilers fans react bitterly to maroontrade

Edmonton Oilers have tried everything with Milan Lucic. Now what?

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