We didn’t think it would happen.
It was a stressful day for the Battle of Alberta throughout Friday and after a lot of rumors and talk it is finally official that the Calgary Flames have acquired Milan Lucic for James Neal.
The Flames also received a conditional third round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Edmonton will also retain a portion (12.5%) of Lucic’s remaining contract. Lucic had 6 goals, 14 assists for a total of 20 points in 79 games last season.
The Oilers will receive Neal, who had a career-low season with 7 goals, 12 assists for a total of 19 points in 63 games last year. Neal’s contract with the Flames was a five year, $28.75-million deal.
Both players have not been performing as of late, but Lucic having a bit of a longer slump. Neal had 44 points and went to the Stanley Cup Final with the Vegas Golden Knights the season prior to joining the Flames last year. Lucic joined the Oilers in the 2016-17 season and has 104 points in 243 games with Edmonton. His contract, signed in July 2016, was a ‘regrettable’ seven-year, $42 million contract.
Now, Lucic said he’s happy to put Edmonton behind him and to join his new team.
“In order for me to move on from Edmonton it was important to go to a contending team, a team that was playing meaningful hockey on a night-to-night basis,” he said. “Throughout my career that’s brought out the best in me and in my game.”
“He’s a guy, that when you play against him, you know where he’s at all times. And he’s a guy that can get to the front of the net and make things happen too.”Mark Giordano
In a CalgaryFlames.com interview, Flames’ captain Mark Giordano weighed in on the acquisition of Lucic.
“He’s a guy, that when you play against him, you know where he’s at all times. And he’s a guy that can get to the front of the net and make things happen too.
“He plays the game hard and he plays it the right way.”
More details about this deal to follow.