Elliotte Friedman was on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 on Monday morning.
As part of a larger discussion on the Los Angeles Kings:
“They have some huge decisions to make. I was really interested in Lucic’s comments yesterday. I’ve heard that they’ve been going at (contract talks) pretty hard. They tried before the playoffs…
“Lucic, I think, is 100 percent correct when he says he wants to play there and he wants to get it done. I think they’re going to go at it this week to see if they can close it out.
“I’ve heard some guys tell me that they think it’s going to get done. I’ve heard some guys tell me that it’s still a big challenge. That it depends – Lucic, if he wants to stay there, he could do a lot better in the open market.
“Now I am of the belief that you do what makes you happy. It’s your life. It’s your job. If you want to take less money to stay somewhere, good on you. I’ve got no problem with it. But I do think that sometimes there’s situations where you know what you can get at one place, you know what you can get somewhere else – and it’s a big, big hole.
“That’s the tough thing, is how much do you want to leave on the table. I think Milan Lucic is honest when he says he wants to stay, but I think at the end of the day it’s going to come down he’s going to have an idea of how much he’s going to leave on the table if he stays in L.A., and is that what he wants to do. And if the answer is yes, it’ll get done.”
On if the Kings should approach this situation with caution (using Dustin Brown and Mike Richards as examples), since the Kings would be buying Lucic’s ‘waning years,’ and just how deep they’d want to get in this with a Milan Lucic:
“I think it’s a very fair question. My biggest question about Lucic is not that. In a lot of ways, that’s conventional wisdom. ‘As they get older, there’s going to be a lot of wear and tear on the bodies.’
“That’s not my biggest question with Lucic. My biggest question with him is he’s a guy who earlier in his career, he set the tone in a lot of games. I see fewer games where he – I still think he’s a difference-maker – but I see fewer games now where he’s sets the tone. And is it because he’s playing differently, or because his team isn’t as good. I think that’s the question.
“I just feel in the playoffs this year I never really saw him as changing the game, like I did see earlier in his career. I don’t think it’s because he’s hurt. I think he’s in good shape. I think he’s in a good situation. I just wonder if teams are finding a better way to play him.
“I think generally the Kings make very good decisions. They want him. I can see why they want him. The only question I have about him is, is there a reason why he seems to make less impact now (than at) times that he did during his heyday in Boston.”
Source: Sportsnet 960/ Transcript: Nichols