Aaron Luchuk Not Extended Last Year
Written by Fred Arshoff
Some people are upset that the Montreal Canadiens General Manager, and Laval Rocket General Manager, Marc Bergevin didn’t give Luchuk a qualifying offer at the end of last season as he was a UFA. And this season he won the scoring title while playing for Orlando in the ECHL.
First of all, the ECHL although a professional hockey league is a step below the AHL where Luchuk played two games with the Laval Rocket. The Canadiens acquired Luchuk in a trade with the Ottawa Senators for Mathew Peca. That trade I’m sure was made to let Peca play in the NHL instead of the AHL.
I’m very sure before deciding not to give Luchuk a qualifying offer Bergevin spoke with Laval Rocket head Coach Joel Bouchard as well as Director of Player Relations AHL Larry Carriere who has since left the organization. I would think if these two people thought Luchuk would be an asset to keep they would have given him a qualifying offer. His pay in the AHL wasn’t very much at $70,000 per season. In the past three seasons his signing bonuses were more than his actual pay. His signing bonus each season was $92,500.
In the 2019-20 season Luchuk played for four teams. Two in the ECHL and two in the AHL so it does show teams don’t really think he has much to offer. He is 5’10” and weighs 185 pounds.
Luchuk won the ECHL scoring championship playing in 72 games and registering 28 goals 48 assists for a total of 74 points. He had 16 minutes in penalties showing he is disciplined, and was a -6. We will never know what type of numbers Luchuk would have put up playing in the AHL.
If the HABS had an ECHL team for the 2020-21 season they may have qualified him to play there and monitor his progress but without an ECHL team there are only so many players you can keep and play and they try to keep the best available player.