According to ESPN Insider Pierre LeBrun, the Los Angeles Kings and Milan Lucic have halted contract negotiations, assuring the 28-year old power forward will hit the free agent market on July 1.
Milan Lucic via text message says he's headed to UFA market. No deal with Kings. Huge, huge name headed to July 1.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 22, 2016
The Kings acquired Lucic last summer from the Boston Bruins in a trade that sent goaltender Martin Jones, defenseman Colin Miller and a first round draft pick (Jakub Zboril) back to Boston. The Bruins also retained salary in the deal.
He recorded 20 goals and 55 total points with the Kings in 81 regular season games and added three points in five postseason contests.
While general manager Dean Lombardi was determined to keep Lucic in L.A., the two weren’t able to agree on a contract. LeBrun also reported that Lombardi sent a letter permitting Lucic to speak with 29 other teams right away.
Lucic’s previous deal, which expires on July 1, carried a cap hit of $6 million. There’s no indication of what salary range he’s looking for on a new deal but it’s easy to imagine it comes in a bit north of that number. While Steven Stamkos will likely highlight this summer’s UFA class, Lucic adds quite an interesting element and will be highly sought after by most teams across the league.