Milan Lucic says he set the bar too high during his tenure with the Edmonton Oilers.
The veteran forward, who the Oilers traded – along with a conditional third-round pick – to the Calgary Flames for James Neal last month, explained that he has different expectations for himself joining his new club than he did when he signed with Edmonton in 2016.
“I think the main thing for me was just getting a fresh start,” Lucic told Sportsnet 960 on Thursday. “Coming to a good team, a veteran team, a team that took a big step in the right direction last year … for myself, it’s just coming in and just helping. I’m not coming in looking to be some sort of savior or anything like that.
“I don’t think it was like that going into Edmonton as well. But in Edmonton, I think I put a little bit too much pressure on myself to be this leader, power forward, goalscorer, all this type of stuff. I think I put too much on my plate, (it was) too much for me to handle.
In three seasons with the Oilers, the Vancouver native registered 39 goals, 104 points and 221 penalty minutes in 243 games, however, his goal and point totals decreased year-over-year and 2018-19 was not kind to him. \
“At times it wasn’t fun, especially when you’re losing and when you’re struggling,” Lucic said of his time in Edmonton.
“For someone that’s had success and been a part of really good teams, you kind of miss being a part of that culture and going to the rink every day trying to get better. Not that I wasn’t trying to do that in Edmonton, but it just seemed to not flow, or I can’t really put my finger on it.
“For me personally I just want to leave the past in the past and worry about the future.