Boston Bruins: Milan Lucic deal proves any contract is movable

If the Boston Bruins have learned anything in the past few days, it’s that any contract is movable. Even ones that seem like that can’t be escaped from.

For the Edmonton Oilers, the deal that former Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli secured former Boston Bruins winger, Milan Lucic to was an incredibly poor deal; plain and simple.

However, it’s now been definitively proven that any team can escape from any deal. It was widely felt that the 7-year $6 million per term contract with no-move clauses built-in and pretty much buy-out proof, was a deal that the Oilers were never going to get out from. New General Manager Ken Holland had essentially been hamstrung from day one with it.

However, in seeing them move out Lucic for James Neal; suddenly there’s a realisation that deals can occur for players that seem to lack even fourth-line value in the modern NHL.

Why is this important for the Boston Bruins, you ask?

Well, they have themselves a few contracts among their ranks that we’re all but certain they’d like to escape from. The obvious being the David Backes deal signed that same summer as the former Boston Bruins winger signed in Edmonton.

Something about that summer’s free agency market led to a lot of guys signing contracts that have quickly become brutal. Whether it was a mis-read of the direction the league was headed by General Managers or whether it was purely a feeling of needing to bring in a ‘name’ player, mistakes were made.

This summer though, we’ve seen a Patrick Marleau contract that seemed immovable moved, as his value waned to that of a decent fourth-liner, albeit one paid $6 million for another season.

We’ve now seen Milan Lucic and his remaining 4 years at $6 million per year shifted across Alberta to the Calgary Flames. A player that managed just 6 goals and 14 assists last season, despite that price tag. Granted, the Oilers have had to retain some of the cost.

In that very same deal, we see James Neal – another example of a player signed to an expensive contract despite being at the peak of the downhill curve as they age out of a young league. His cap hit of $5.75 million for the next 4 years lands in Edmonton in return for Lucic – they’ll hope for better than last season’s 19 points.

Either way, point is; the Boston Bruins have seen all of these deals moved. All of them have moved in transactions that could be argued as being successful, iffy at best or strokes of genius.

As a fan of the Boston Bruins, we can have hope that David Backes and his $6 million per season cap hit for just two more years can be shuffled to another unsuspecting team. After all, his 20 point production is equal to that of James Neal and Milan Lucic last season and both of them have found new teams.

All hope is not lost for the Boston Bruins to make essential cap savings.