Former Los Angeles Kings forward Milan Lucic enjoyed playing with Kings and wanted to re-sign with the team. Due to their precarious salary cap situation, Lucic became expendable and the Kings were unable to re-sign the rugged forward.
On July 1, Lucic became an unrestricted free agent. The burly winger received interest from a number of teams but ended up signing seven-year, $42 million deal with the Edmonton Oilers.
With Lucic’s signing, the Oilers added a combination of goal scoring and much-needed toughness to their lineup. In 81 games with the Kings, Lucic scored 20 goals and 55 points, was a plus-26 and served 79 penalty minutes.
During the latest episode of the RoenickLife Podcast, Lucic revealed that before he signed his seven-year deal with the Oilers, he had a conversation with the former Oilers great Wayne Gretzky. Apparently, the Great One was very convincing.
“I talked to him on the phone before I made my decision to go to Edmonton, Lucic said. “He just talked about what it was like for him to live in a place like Edmonton, and how it is to deal with their fans and he talked about how great their fans were and the friends. It was obviously really cool. The way I see it is when the Great One calls you and tells you to go to Edmonton, you go to Edmonton, you don’t go anywhere else.”
Lucic has a great point. When a former All-Star like Gretzky gives you advice, you take it.
Eric is a 1996, 1999 graduate of the University of North Dakota. Eric covers the University of North Dakota Hockey and Division I college hockey. Eric is the Contributing Editor for Inside Hockey.