Jesse Puljujarvi a sweetener in Milan Lucic for Loui Eriksson trade? Hmmm

This is from Elliott Friedman, his musing on Vancouver radio about Jesse Puljujarvi being included in the much-discussed proposal of a Milan Lucic for Loui Eriksson trade.

“Everyone is talking about this big Lucic for Eriksson thing,” Friedman said. “My sense is Lucic is willing to do it.”

There have been rumours that Eriksson won’t agree to this trade, but that’s been disputed, Friedman said, saying there’s no evidence that Eriksson has even been approached on this matter. “I also understand that one of the biggest issues, since Lucic has an extra year of term and he’s got a buy out proof contract, what should Vancouver get for doing it. And I really wonder if at the end of the day one of the things that comes up to maybe see if this goes down the road is Puljujarvi. I don’t think he wants to go to Finland. That’s been out there and that reports been debunked, but I am still not 100 per cent sure he wants to stay in Edmonton. I believe the Oilers will be meeting with him or his representatives sometime in the near future to discuss this. But I do wonder if somewhere along the lines that he’s potentially involved in this conversation to see if it can move along.”

My take

  1. It’s crucial to note here that Friedman, a careful reporter, was NOT reporting a trade rumour. He wasn’t saying he’s heard from anyone that Puljujarvi was the ask from Vancouver, or that Edmonton was considering this. He was simply musing and speculating, giving his own thoughts.
  2. I personally think it would represent a huge overpay to add Puljujarvi as a sweetener in a Lucic for Eriksson swap. Yes, Lucic has an extra year on his $6.0 million per year contract, four years instead of the three years that Eriksson has, but Eriksson is three years older, he’s had three weak years in a row and he’s got less value right now than Lucic.
  3. I wonder if Eriksson didn’t have a contract for next season in the NHL if he could get one. I suspect he could only get about $1 million per year or so. That’s the market for aging two-way wingers who can no longer score much. Lucic is in a different boat, as he’s still a hard hitter and he’s also a fearsome intimidator. Veteran players like Lucic, such as Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin in New York and Ryan Reaves in Vegas, can command salaries of more than $2.0 million per. Teams that need toughness can get quite desperate to acquire it. I suspect if Lucic were on the open market right now that Lucic would get at least $2.0 million per on a two or three year deal, and even more on a one-year deal. If I’m right — and this is just my own speculation, my own valuation — then Lucic
  4. As for Puljujarvi, he’s in Edmonton, he’s rehabbing, he’s just 21, he’s a big, strapping kid with plenty of raw talent but little in the way of positive results, meaning he’s got low trade value. Why would you sell low on him? Why would you give him away to a division rival, where he might come back to haunt you as a solid two-way second line player for the Canucks for years to come. Moving him out is a terrible idea at this time.
  5. I don’t think the Canucks should get any sweetener in a Lucic for Eriksson trade. In fact, I’m not convinced the Oilers should make such a deal at all, as Eriksson’s contract is also buy-out prohibitive, and if he’s can contribute to a winning team, he offers less than Lucic, who at least brings a ton of toughness and menace.

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