Milan Lucic does Flames a solid by waiving NMC ahead of expansion draft

The Calgary Flames seem to be in a particularly precarious position ahead of the Seattle Kraken's expansion draft this summer, but it seems things have become a touch clearer, now.

According to Sportsnet's Eric Francis, Milan Lucic has agreed to waive his no-movement clause leading up the event, as to preserve a protected slot up front for Flames general manager Brad Treliving.

It's possible that this move backfires for Lucic, who says he prefers to remain with the Flames, even wanting to finish his career in Calgary. However it seems unlikely that Seattle jumps at the chance to take the lumbering forward, who just eclipsed 1,000 games for his career, given his cost and capabilities at this point.

EDMONTON, AB - APRIL 29:  Jacob Markstrom #25 and Milan Lucic #17 of the Calgary Flames celebrate after winning the game against the Edmonton Oilers on April 29, 2021 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Milan Lucic is doing everything he can to help the Calgary flames ahead of the NHL's upcoming expansion draft. (Getty) (Andy Devlin via Getty Images)

Still, it's a selfless move from Lucic — one not every player has been willing to make, and one that could avoid serious consequences. Kevin Bieksa, for example, turned down that request when he was with the Anaheim Ducks, a decision that ultimately forced maybe the most egregious mistake, when an elite defender in Shea Theodore was scooped up by the Vegas Golden Knights through the expansion process.

Unfortunately for Calgary, Lucic's decision to stick out his neck won't solve every issue facing Treliving, who has plenty of work to do in order to minimize the damage. With Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Andrew Mangiapane and Dillon Dube each requiring protection, it's likely that the Flames will have to opt for the 7-3-1 expansion formation, which likely means it will have to expose one of four high-value defenders.

That means that between Mark Giordano, Noah Hanifin, Rasmus Andersson, and Christopher Tanev, one of them will have to be served up — with perhaps the captain being the front runner for exposure.

This is unless the Flames opt to protect four forwards and four defenders, and are willing to expose a significant portion of their core, losing either Backlund, Mangiapane or Dube. This under the working assumption that Tkachuk, Gaudreau, and Monahan are all still in the mix.

It's expected to be a busy offseason for Treliving, so it's possible that clarity is brought to the situation before Seattle is ready to make its pick.

However there's still obvious work to do, even after Lucic agreed to do his part.

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