Oilers Trade Lucic to Flames for Neal
The Edmonton Oilers trade wing Milan Lucic to the Calgary Flames in exchange for winger James Neal. The Oilers will reportedly retain a portion of Lucic’s $6-million annual salary-cap hit and will also include a conditional draft pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The trade most of us didn’t think would happen has taken place. This should provide an interesting twist to “The Battle of Alberta”. The move also proves that even die-hard rivals will make trades with each other if they’re desperate enough.
This is two teams swapping veteran players who weren’t working out and in need of a change. Whether this sparks one or both to regain their offensive touch remains to be seen.
Lucic,31, has four seasons remaining on his contract and agreed to waive his no-movement clause to facilitate this deal. Once a dominant power forward, his production steadily declined over the last two seasons. He managed just nine goals and 20 points last season.
The 31-year-old Neal also has four years left on his deal with an annual average value of $5.75 million. He lacked no-trade protection and probably won’t object to this move. After 10 consecutive 20-plus goal seasons, he tallied only seven goals and 19 points in 63 contests in his first (and only) season with the Flames.
No word yet how much of Lucic’s salary cap the Oilers will retain or what that conditional pick will be. As soon as more details are revealed, I’ll post them here.
**UPDATE** The Oilers retain 12.5 percent ($750K annually) of Lucic’s salary-cap hit. The conditional pick is a third-rounder in the 2020 NHL Draft.