Jason Demers once claimed Milan Lucic thwarted his attempts to sign with Edmonton Oilers in 2016

NHL: Preseason-Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames
Jason Demers once accused Milan Lucic of thwarting his attempt to sign with Edmonton Oilers

Former NHLer Jason Demers only played one solitary game for the Edmonton Oilers in his professional career. However, the story could have been much different if a certain Milan Lucic deal had not gotten in the way back when he first attempted to sign with the team in 2016.

During an April 2024 appearance on the Oilersnation Everyday Podcast, Demers recounted his experience during free agency in the summer of 2016 when he was interested in signing with the Edmonton Oilers. During a dinner at Oilers owner Daryl Katz's house, attended by Demers, his father, GM Peter Chiarelli, and then-free agent Milan Lucic, Demers noticed something unusual.

"I'm looking across the table and Lucic keeps getting up and leaving the table and coming back. Chiarelli is getting up and leaving the table and they (Lucic and Chiarelli) are talking in the corner," he said.
"I could hear Lucic at the table going 'the number just keeps going up and up and up'. I think it was after the third or fourth course that the money was at five or six million." [H/T The Hockey News]

Realizing that the Oilers were prioritizing signing Lucic over him, Demers sensed that his chances of joining Edmonton were fading and mentioned to his father that it didn’t look like they were going to sign with the Oilers. The atmosphere became awkward at the table and the focus shifted away from Demers.

“It went from them courting me...it went from talking to me and Luc [Lucic] to like we weren't even there in the house."

Chiarelli later drove them back to the hotel and, with a nonchalant "sorry," ended their meeting. Milan Lucic would go on to sign a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers shortly after.

Milan Lucic's future uncertain in the NHL

Milan Lucic is currently an unrestricted free agent after his one year contract with the Boston Bruins ran out at the end of 2023-24. The forward only appeared in four games on the ice over the course of the whole season while notching only two assists.

His initial absense from the lineup had to do with an ankle injury suffered early on during the season. However, his off-court issues saw him scrape his chances of making his way back in the later part of the season.

Lucic was arrested in late December on ‘domestic violence’ charges which would be dropped in February 2024. He was subsequently given leave of absence and his one year, $1 million contract was the last he penned in Boston.

The 37-year-old is now in free agency and there hasn’t been any reports of possible suitors looking to add his services for short-term or with cost-effective deals.

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Edited by Debasish
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