Los Angeles Kings forward Milan Lucic stated he’d like to spend the rest of his career with the organization earlier last month, despite being in his first season with the club. According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, Lucic’s camp is trying to make a new contract a reality, as the pending unrestricted free agent and the Kings are working on a long-term deal and have “exchanged contract proposals” early in the negotiating process.
“I wouldn’t expect this to go fast,” LeBrun said on TSN’s Insider Trading panel. “Remember how long it took on [Anze] Kopitar? I think this might be a lengthy negotiation as well.”
Lucic has enjoyed a rebound season with the Kings, scoring 15 goals and 40 points in 64 games, and has really fit in perfectly with the team.
The Kings may be hopeful in signing Lucic but fitting another long-term contract into their cap space may be difficult. Los Angeles doesn’t have any big name contracts coming off the books (they do have smaller ones like Kris Versteeg and Vincent Lecavalier) and are pressed tightly against the cap. The club may have to move some contracts around like the Chicago Blackhawks are known for doing to make things work.
Signing Lucic to a long-term deal would be a great short-term move, but the last thing the Kings want to do is emulate Dustin Brown’s deal and be stuck with an unmovable contract. The plus side to a potential deal is Lucic will be 28 in the offseason, so it’s not like a long-term deal will take him into his 40’s.
He’ll have plenty of suitors in free agency *cough Vancouver* but as long as the Kings offer is competitive and locks him up long-term, I think he’ll stick around.