The veteran Flames winger has waived the no-move clause in his contract for the Seattle Kraken expansion draft this summer.
“As much as I want to stay in Calgary, I didn’t want to handcuff Tree (GM Brad Treliving) in the expansion draft, so I agreed to forgo the expansion draft if he didn’t want to protect me,” Lucic told Sportsnet.ca.
“I really like it here in Calgary and I would love nothing more than to spend the rest of my career here.
This is an important move as it saves the team from having to include the 32-year-old as one of their seven protected attackers and eliminates the team’s important dilemma over whether to expose a player. like Mikael Backlund, Dillon Dube or Andrew Mangiapane.
Now all three can be kept, along with Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan, and Matthew Tkachuk.
Granted, given the club’s current state, it’s hard to say all seven will still be with the organization by the time Seattle can pick a player from each team (except Vegas) on July 21.
However, Lucic’s consent gives Treliving reassurance that whatever moves he may make, he knows the veteran winger isn’t eating a valuable spot on his protected roster, thanks to a provision allowing players without a non-movement clause (NMC) to do. such a movement for expansion projects.
Lucic confirmed that when Treliving was orchestrating the trade that brought Lucic to Calgary for James Neal in July 2019, he gave a verbal agreement to relinquish his NMC. At this point, Lucic wanted a change of scenery and was more than willing to forgo the expansion draft shield to make it happen.
He kept his word and made it official.
Lucic has been one of the Flames’ only shining points this season, providing leadership and physique on the third row where he added nine goals and 20 points en route to his 1,000th game in the NHL.
With two more years on a deal that pays him $ 5.25 million a year, Seattle is unlikely to consider taking it, which suits Lucic well.
Kraken chief executive Ron Francis will likely see his debate over who he chooses from Calgary revolve around Mark Giordano, Oliver Kylington and Derek Ryan.
If it’s surprising to see Giordano’s name in there, consider that the three obvious candidates to protect on the blue line are Noah Hanifin, Rasmus Andersson and Chris Tanev.
The Flames refrained from using Juuso Valimaki in last summer’s playoff bubble to keep him draft-free like all NHL first and second-year players.
Giordano is 37 and has one year left on a deal paying him $ 6.75 million.
Despite his age and price, he could make a great leader and grassroots defenseman for an upstart organization, which means the Flames may have to spit out a significant asset if they are to get Seattle to pass on the Flames captain.
Treliving is in regular contact with Francois to make sure the two have a clear understanding of what the other is thinking.
The mere possibility that this will be Giordano’s final season in Calgary is a conversation that makes many Flames fans uncomfortable, as the Norris Trophy winner is hugely popular for everything he’s done on and off. the rink as an unwritten success story.
“At the end of the day you’re going to lose a player,” Treliving said of a reality no GM is thrilled about.
“After the fact, you watch the expansion of Vegas and everyone’s a lot smarter in hindsight. How many guys are going to make deals? “
Not that much.
Sam Bennett would probably have been Seattle’s most obvious target, but his trade to Florida at last month’s deadline for a prospect and a second round leaves the Kraken with very few enticing options.
Bennett’s departure also opened up a small dilemma for the Flames, as the club are now a forward short of meeting NHL requirements to make available at least two forwards who are a) under contract in 2021-2022 and b) have played at least 27 NHL games. the previous season or played in at least 54 NHL games in the previous two seasons.
Brett Ritchie is one game away from meeting those requirements, but is expected to be re-signed this summer as he is an unrestricted free agent.
Other options could include acquiring a player from elsewhere or re-signing Josh Leivo, Joakim Nordstrom, Dominik Simon or Ryan.
Ryan is an unrestricted free agent this summer who has strong ties to the Pacific Northwest where the Spokane, Washington native spends his summers and played his junior hockey.
The Kraken have an exclusive window before the expansion plan where they can negotiate with unrestricted free agents, and if they chose to ink Ryan, he would count as Seattle’s only selection among the Flames.
This is how Deryk Engelland ended up being the Flames player selected by Vegas in his expansion project.
The Flames will obviously protect Jacob Markstrom as a goalie, leaving Tyler Parsons as an exposed goaltender.
Injured Parsons, who made his first game in over a year last month for the Stockton Heat, only needs to qualify as a restricted free agent to meet the league’s demands for a goalie exposed.
Again, the model the Flames have almost certainly looked to throughout the season may now be ripe for a revamp given the obvious need to revamp the franchise after this lost season.
Will one or more of the cornerstones of the team be traded this summer?
Will Treliving be responsible for these movements?
Is Seattle interested in Giordano? Or Ryan?
With a single stroke of the pen, Lucic has done well to preserve at least one of the team’s most coveted assets.
CALGARY PROBABLE EXTENSION PROJECT SCENARIO
Protected fronts (7)
Minimum exposed (2): Lucic and another player to acquire / sign.
Protected defenders (3)
Minimum exposé (1): Giordano
Protected goalkeeper (1)
Minimum exposé (1): Parsons