Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Will The Milan Lucic For James Neal Trade Help Either Team?

from Mark Spector of Sportnst,

Milan Lucic for James Neal. Two 31-year-old unhappy players who failed to live up to their multi-year UFA deals, swapped in a one-for-one — almost. Because Lucic’s contract presents a more difficult buy-out, the Oilers have tossed in a conditional third-round pick in 2020.

Also, the Oilers will retain $750,000 of Lucic’s salary, marking the end of a long, unsuccessful chapter of Lucic’s career, having scored just 16 goals in his past 161 games....

Neal is a scorer — pure and simple. He doesn’t do much else for you when he’s not scoring. And, for a guy who has scored 20 goals or more in 10 of his 11 NHL seasons, he’s been traded three times now and was left open in the Vegas expansion draft.

That points to character issues, plain and simple.

In Edmonton, however, where Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are starving for a right-winger who can score, can Neal become a 20-goal man once again? If he can, Edmonton wins the trade, as it is unlikely Lucic will see the offensive opportunity in Calgary that awaits Neal in Edmonton.

Because anyone who has watched Lucic stumble through the past two seasons wouldn’t bet you a nickel that he will ever be a top-six producer ever again. All that remains in Lucic’s skillset is size and intimidation, both of which have diminishing value in today’s game.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink



This seems like a fairly well thought-out and helpful move by Holland.

Good for him.

Apparently Calgary still really values intimidation and toughness
at the bottom of their lineup. They had wanted to sign Ryan Reeves.

It looks like Neal gets a chance with a Summer of training, and a new dressing room
and a default top-two line role, to bounce back and give Edmonton the scoring winger they need.

If he can’t, they buy him out next Summer, something virtually pointless with Lucic.

Presumably Calgary has asked Lucic to waive his NMC for the expansion draft.

Whereas Neal has no trade protection.

Calgary saves 500k off their cap and 10 million in real dollars over the life of the deals - not that Neal’s is likely to make it four more seasons.

That’s a huge cap hit - 5.25M - for four years of a fourth line enforcer who can’t skate.

Posted by lefty.30 on 07/20/19 at 11:51 AM ET


That points to character issues, plain and simple

Hopefully, the author did not require the trade history of the player to draw that conclusion.

Posted by Squarewheels from The Land of Unhealthy Scratching on 07/20/19 at 12:24 PM ET


Neal probably toned it down.

I didn’t seem play as much post-Dallas and Pittsburgh
but he struck me back then as one of the top few dirtiest
players in the league among skilled guys. And he never, ever
answered for it.

Posted by lefty.30 on 07/20/19 at 01:43 PM ET


Two teams needed to get rid of the elephants in their rooms early enough before they grew so big they would hog all the oxygen. A trade usually cuts the size of each exchanged elephant, so I think it was a win-win situation for both teams. I also suspect Webber - Subban trade being another example of that kind of a deal.

Posted by tutoka from Leelanau Peninsula on 07/20/19 at 08:03 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com