Many people believed that the contracts of forwards Milan Lucic and James Neal were immovable. Today has proven otherwise, as the two players were traded for each other. The Edmonton Oilers send Lucic, with retained salary and a conditional draft pick to the Calgary Flames for Neal. Here is a breakdown of the trade:
From what has been announced to the public, The Oilers will retain some salary of Lucic, 12.5 percent of it to be precise, which would add up to $750,000. They also send a conditional draft pick, although the details on this pick have not been made public yet. As of right now, this trade is considered a one for one.
James Neal to Edmonton
Neal had his worst season in the NHL in 2018-19. The winger scored seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points in 63 games this year for the Flames. Neal was signed in the previous offseason to a five-year contract in which his AAV was $5.75 million, in which he has four years remaining on. It’s safe to say he hasn’t lived up to the contract as of yet. I believe it was just a bad year for Neal, I strongly believe he will bounce back in 2019-20.
Milan Lucic to Calgary
Lucic was signed in the 2016 offseason to a six-year, six million dollar AAV contract to eventually become the replacement to Taylor Hall. Lucic was signed to bring grit to the young Oilers lineup. This signing has failed miserably and the Stanley Cup Champion has been traded to the Calgary Flames.
I predict that Neal will have a bounce-back year and could score up to 22 goals for the Oilers and will play in the top six. Lucic will slot in on the third or fourth line and will most likely replicate his numbers from this past season.
As of right now, the trade seems pretty equal, teams traded underperforming players with high cap hits. Neal is the better player so I’m going to give the nudge to the Oilers as he has the potential to bounce back.
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