New York Islanders and Lucic Aren’t a Good Fit
The New York Islanders have been linked with making a play for Los Angeles Kings pending UFA Milan Lucic. But after seeing what Lucic could offer, the Isles should look the other way.
TSN’s Scott Cullen recently linked the New York Islanders to pending UFA Milan Lucic. The Kings forward has yet to sign an extension with his current club the Los Angeles Kings, even though he’s repeated a number of times his desire to stay.
The Kings are already tight to the cap, and with rumors of the salary cap either decreasing or going up by a marginal amount, affording Lucic and his most recent $6.5 million rate doesn’t likely work for the two-time Stanley Cup champions. But can it work in Brooklyn?
Lucic has some consistent production. The forward nearing 20 goals per season and 50 points per season. But his style of playing on the physical edge of the game routinely gets the Vancouver native in penalty trouble.
Over his nine-year NHL career, Lucic has a total of 851 penalty minutes, averaging just over 83 penalty minutes per year over the last three season. That just over a minute in the box per game. Not ideal for any team.
If Lucic were to find himself in the Orange and Blue come 2016-17 it would be to replace the departed Kyle Okposo. The two are comparable in playing style and offensive return. But the aforementioned discipline is the nail in the coffin for such a deal.
In the same three-year period Okposo has averaged 38 penalty minutes per season. If your top line winger is in the box on average a minute every game you’re already at a disadvantage without counting the fact that you’re a man down on the ice.
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The Islanders were fourth in terms of penalty kill efficiency and times short-handed in 2015-16 so they could certainly handle a few more kills to no negative effect. But at the rate Lucic is in the box the Islanders efficiency would absolutely drop.
The Islanders should stay away from Lucic. What he brings to the table in terms of offense is immediately undone by his penchant for spending time in the sin-bin. If the Islanders want to make a splash in free agency they should look elsewhere.