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Demers Roasts Lucic in Funny 2016 Oilers Free Agent Story

Jason Demers shared a funny story about his trip to Edmonton in 2016 and desire to sign there, when Milan Lucic got in the way.

Back in 2016, as the Edmonton Oilers were trying to secure the services of free agents Milan Lucic and Jason Demers, then-GM Peter Chiarelli was forced to make a choice. Hoping to sign both players to free-agent deals, he wined and dined Lucic and Demers in the hopes they would choose the Oilers. Both did, however only one was signed. Why?

According to Demers, it’s because Lucic’s contract demands got so high, that the Oilers simply ran out of cap space.

During an interview with Oilers Nation, Demers talked about that time in 2016 when he flew out to meet the Oilers. He noted he was set to sign in Edmonton and really wanted to be a part of the team. There with his father, he had every intention to sign a deal. Unfortunately, Lucic had a certain price, which kept climbing during dinner on the night both players were in town.

How Did Lucic’s Demands Affect Demers?

Demers told the story of how he, Lucic and Chiarelli were out eating and Lucic kept getting up and walking away from the table. Chiarelli would follow and they would both return. Each did this a couple of times and Demers knew they were negotiating. He said, eventually the numbers were at $5 or $6 million per season. Demers told his dad he figured his shot to sign in Edmonton was going out the window, which turned out to be true.

Milan Lucic Jason Demers Oilers

On the way back to the hotel Demers said that Chiarelli just shrugged and apologized and said, “You kinda heard, sorry.”

Chiarelli and Lucic had a history in Boston and it was clear the former Bruins’ GM wanted Lucic in a bad way. Lucic likely knew it and set his terms. Chiarelli was going to meet them, even if it meant he couldn’t afford Demers, who wanted to be there and likely would have been the more affordable player.

Interestingly, Lucic crashed and burned in Edmonton. He had a good first season and was never able to replicate his success again. He was traded to the Calgary Flames for James Neal and Neal was eventually bought out by the Oilers. Needless to say, Edmonton probably chose to bet on the wrong horse.

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