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Milan Lucic is here to stay. His massive cap hit is, anyway.
There was some speculation – although it always seemed more optimistic than realistic – an amnesty buyout would be part of a new CBA agreement. That won’t be the case.
Bob McKenzie poured freezing cold water on the possibility this morning.
This, of course, means the Calgary Flames will be stuck with Lucic for three more years at $5.25 million.
Technically speaking, they *could* buy him out. It’s just his contract is structured in a way that there would be little to no incentive for the Flames to actually go through with it.
If they were to dump Lucic via buyout, they’d only save $500,000 against the cap this season and just $3 million over the next three years ($500K Y1, $2M Y2, $500K Y3). There’s not really a point in even considering the possibility – at least not for another year.
Calgary would get dinged with a ~$4.8M cap hit in 2020-21. Even if they replaced Lucic with a league minimum player, they’d end up paying more for that slot than if they just kept Lucic. Thus, a buyout makes no sense right now.
As overpaid – and at times overused – as Lucic is, he is objectively a strong defensive player. There are also games (though not as often as anyone would like) where he’s assertive physically and makes an impact in that regard.
Quite honestly, it would be difficult to replace his defensive value with a player making the minimum. If even possible, again, that would only lead to more cap space being used.
With no amnesty clause being implemented to bail the Flames out, it sure looks like Lucic will be sticking around for a while.
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