Oilers Trade Lucic to Flames for Neal

by | Jul 19, 2019 | News, NHL, Rumors | 19 comments

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.

Edmonton Oilers trade Milan Lucic to the Calgary Flames for James Neal (Photo via NHL Images).

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. 


  1. Hope Benning is watching this for Loui Eriksson

    • Benning would have added in a 1st round pick…..

  2. This is Holland makes juice out of sour grapes. This is a brilliant move, yes they have to eat salary but get in return a player who could potentially get his scoring touch back AND one that doesn’t have a NMC in case the Oilers are sellers during the trade deadline.

    • And also doesn’t need protection during expansion draft!

  3. I believe Neal’s buyout is a lot more straight forward too and gives significant cap relief the next four years

    • Well, the actual dollars of Lucic’s salary are much less, to the tune of about $5.0 mill over the 4 years. Rumour is that Oilers will be eating approx $1.0 mill of Lucic’s salary, no idea what the conditional pick is or based on. Flames wont need to buyout Lucic for 2 years & thats if they cant get him to waive his NMC Fleury style & then Treliving may have to add an asset to get Seattle to pick him.

      Still not thrilled with trade, thought we should have gotten more out of Oilers for taking on this NMC & guaranteed buyout situation in 2 years. However, Neal was horrible last year. But he still thinks he’s top 6. At least with Lucic, his role on 3rd or 4th line is pretty clear & Flames needed someone that will hold other players accountable that took liberties on our smaller skilled guys. I also think Neal had to go after being scratched in the last playoff game. At that point, it was past the point of no return.

  4. I’ll be a son of a gun. Maybe pigs will fly and the Leafs will make a trade with Boston. Anything seems possible after this one.

  5. I knew he was moving after his bonus was paid in full. (Yesterday)
    Didn’t think Holland would retain salary though.
    Thought one of the D prospects would have to move with him.
    I like it for both teams.

    • Agreed shoreorrpark. Fames need 3rd line toughness, well toughness overall, and the Oil need a scoring winger for the 2nd line.
      Could work out for both, just one, or none.
      Worth a shot regardless.

      • Two GM’s making the best out of crappy situations.
        I hope it works out for them both, and Lucic.
        Neal can get bent, but he’ll probably net 30 unless Coach T says otherwise.

  6. No longer a Lucic fan. Just plain slow. Flames need toughness and he does provide that. 4 th line and not many minutes most nights . Maybe pays off in the playoffs
    Neal still has finish and could rebound. A lot of 20 goal seasons under his belt except last year.
    Mixed feelings on this . Adding the third rounder and keeping 12.5 % makes it palatable for Calgary

  7. I think Treliving got fleeced. Edmonton only picking up 12.5% which is 750,000 on the cap and throwing in a 3rd for a slow, cant score tough guy.
    If Chiasson scored over 20goals, Neal will probably become a 30 goal scorer again while Lucic will get his usual 5 and play limited 4th line minutes.
    This is the proverbial “trying fix a mistake but making it worse” trade.
    I know the Flames are trying to spin this trade as Neal was bad in the room and had a bad attitude, and they gain toughness in Lucic but from my point of view it is a bad trade for the Flames

    • I dont think Flames got fleeced at all. If you recall game 4 & the blowup between Neal & Peters in the pregame warmup, that was the end for Neal. There was no way ownership was going to authorize a buyout after 1 year so Treliving had to trade him. After the crap year Neal had, we would have had to have added a pretty big sweetner to move him. Would you have been happy if we traded Dube or Kyllington to get rid of Neal for an inferior player & a pick? Neal had to go & we needed a nuclear deterrent. Would have preferred Reaves & his 1 year left at 2.75 mill but Vegas wouldnt have taken salary back let alone trade him to a divisional rival. We had no answer when Zadorov was taking dirty hits on our guys. We would have had no answer against E Kane, but they had Reaves to go tune him in & deflect his aggression. We had no answer when Lucic went after Smith last year. & we had no answer to Ferland who we’d have to see way too much now that he’s in Vancouver. This stuff is still part of the game & Lucic is more than capable of making someone accountable if they start taking liberties with our smaller skilled players.

      Yes I think a conditional 3rd & $750K salary wasnt really enough compensation to deal with that NMC in 2 years time. Its funny all the cap buyout comparable stats MSM are reporting are if the Flames buy him out right away, which wont happen. I would rather see the buyout numbers for his last 2 years just before the expansion draft.

    • He got him for May/June Hockey. He’ll wreck guys in the playoffs.
      Solid pick up for the Flames.
      Just what they need.
      Plus: Neal is a douche nozzle. 20 goal or not.

    • Tip was Neal first Coach in the NHL with Dallas.

  8. I quit being a lucic fan when he threatened Dale Weiss during the handshake when lucic’s team was eliminated. Very, VERY unimpressive. It was an insult and slap in the face to one of the things that makes OUR game different than all other sports.
    Karma baby! Then Lucic turned into a SIX MILLION DOLLAR ANCHOR that drags his team down every year.

  9. Calgary got exactly what they wanted/needed, a deterrent that will allow the skill players to operate in the playoffs. Loved Hathaway but Lucic will be a difference maker. Keep a stat on slashing to Johnny this year, when there will be a consequence, finally.

    • Ya, and track how many McDavid will take now. Kassian is no where close to the deterrent lucic is.

  10. Well i have to admit that i was wrong (again 😀 ).
    Didn’t expect a Lucic trade.


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