Milan Lucic has agreed to waive the no-move clause in his contract with the Calgary Flames ahead of the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on July 21, Sportsnet reported Tuesday.
"As much as I want to stay in Calgary I didn't want to handcuff [Flames general manager Brad Treliving] in the expansion draft, so I agreed that I would waive it for the expansion draft if he didn't want to protect me," Lucic told Sportsnet. "I really enjoy it here in Calgary, and I'd love nothing more than to spend the rest of my career here."
The forward has scored 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 51 games this season and 541 points (215 goals, 326 assists) in 1,009 NHL regular-season games for the Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers and Flames over 14 seasons.
Lucic said he agreed verbally to waive the no-move clause for the expansion draft during the talks that led to his trade with a third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft to the Flames from the Oilers for forward James Neal on July 19, 2019. He said he was interested in helping that trade happen and if waiving his no-move clause for the expansion draft would expedite the transaction, he was willing to do it.
The 32-year-old has two seasons remaining on a seven-year contract.
The Flames are fifth in the seven-team Scotia North Division, 10 points behind the fourth-place Montreal Canadiens. Calgary has five games remaining.
Lucic's decision to agree to be available will allow the Flames to protect a player they otherwise couldn't ahead of the expansion draft to stock the Seattle Kraken, who will begin play in the 2021-22 NHL season.
The Kraken will select one player from each NHL team except the Vegas Golden Knights, for a total of 30 players, and must select a minimum of 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies, not including additional players who may be acquired as the result of violations of the expansion draft rules.
Seattle must choose a minimum of 20 players under contract for the 2021-22 regular season and those with an aggregate expansion draft value that is between 60 and 100 percent of the prior season's upper limit for the NHL salary cap ($81.5 million). The Kraken cannot buy out players chosen in the expansion draft earlier than the summer following its first season.
Current NHL teams have two options to protect eligible players from the expansion draft. They can protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goalie. With either choice, exposed players must meet certain games played and contractual criteria, and any player who has a no-move clause must agree to waive it to be exposed.