26 June 2015
It might not be the easiest trade in reality but the Vancouver Canucks making a move for Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic this offseason is a deal that seems almost perfect in theory. While general manager Jim Benning would have to pull off a number of sub-deals in order to achieve the deal, bringing Lucic back to Vancouver could be just what both parties need. The 27-year-old became a hero in the city during his time as a junior with the Vancouver Giants, and a return to Canada might be just what Lucic needs at this stage of his career. On the back of a disappointing season for both the Bruins and Lucic, the 235-pound winger has been linked with a move away from Boston, with a host of NHL teams ready to try snap the eight-season veteran.
It certainly won't be easy for the Canucks, though, who are currently juggling a relatively modest $5.03 million budget with which to sign five players. While the Bruins have a little more in the bank, they aren't really in a position to take on the additional salary involved in a swap deal. Lucic is set to make $6 million next season, just one year away from entering the unrestricted free agency. Despite his modest season, Lucic would be on the list of a host of NHL sides if the Bruins do decide to try and move on the left wing during the summer.
The Canucks, who have a number of areas that need strengthening over the next few months, could certainly do with some size on the flanks, and bringing home a prodigal son would be a huge boost to the fans on the back of last season. Lucic may have not helped Vancouver from losing to Calgary in the first round of the postseason, but it would be hard to argue the Canucks wouldn't have been a lot more dangerous with the powerful wing on the ice.
The Canucks have been without a player in the mould of Lucic for some time, a left wing with the size and strength to add something to any team in the league. While the Vancouver native has had some things to say about the Canucks fans over the years, there is little doubt the former Giants star wouldn't be welcomed to B.C by the same fans who cheered him on when he was a child. Benning already has a relationship with the 50th overall pick in the 2006 draft from his time as an assistant with the Bruins, and the Canucks general manager attended Lucic's dad, Dobro's, funeral earlier this year. Coming home to Vancouver would definitely have a lot of plus points for Lucic. The question is just whether or not all parties involved can come together and make a deal happen.