Oilers close to trading Milan Lucic to Flames for James Neal

Open this

Open this

Lucic, 31, and Neal, 31, are both in the middle of long-term contracts with their respective teams and are coming off disappointing seasons. And let's be realistic: even with Neal's struggles in Calgary, he instantly becomes the best option the Oilers have as a top-six winger.

Neal, who guided the expansion Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup finals two seasons ago, is the more likely of the two to have a bounce back season next year. Lucic had a strong 2016-17 season, helping the Oilers to the playoffs with a 23-goal season.

Like Lucic, Neal was a big-name free agent signing for Calgary last summer but didn't meet expectations after agreeing to a five-year, $28.75 million deal July 2, 2018.

The veteran winger carries a almost identical cap hit to Lucic, owed $5.75 million for every year through the 2022-23 season. Lucic had 10 goals and 34 points during the 2017-18 campaign and followed that up with 6 goals and 20 points last season.

This deal is ultimately a swap of forwards with bad contracts in need of a change of scenery.

The Flames will also receive a conditional third-round pick, while the Oilers have agreed to retain $725,000 (12.5%) of Lucic's annual salary.

The soon-to-be 32-year-old had a down year in Calgary last year, posting career lows in goals with seven, assists with 12 and points with 19.

Latest News