It may be mid-July, but a major trade between aging forwards is about to be announced between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames.
According to Nick Kypreos and The Athletic’s Eric Francis, the Oilers are close to dealing Milan Lucic to the Flames for James Neal.
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) July 19, 2019
According to Francis, the Oilers would retain some of Lucic’s salary and send over a conditional draft pick.
Can confirm deal to send James Neal to Edm for Milan Lucic isn’t done yet, but is close. Oilers would include a conditional draft pick and retain some of Lucic’s salary when its completed
— Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) July 19, 2019
Both players are 31 and past their primes. After hitting or surpassing the 20-goal and 50-point plateaus in consecutive seasons, Lucic has seen his production slip big time over the last two years. Lucic had 10 goals and 34 points during the 2017-18 campaign and followed that up with 6 goals and 20 points last season. Neal’s production has also fallen off a cliff. Neal scored over 20 goals in 10 of his 11 first seasons in the NHL, but last year he had 7 goals and 19 points in his first full season with the Flames, seeing a 25-point drop off from his only year in Vegas.
Lucic has four years left on his deal that will keep him under contract until the summer of 2023. He makes $6 million per season. Meanwhile, Neal has four years left on his contract too and is making $5.75 million per season.
FYI, cap hits (via @CapFriendly):
Milan Lucic — $6-million through 2022-23
James Neal — $5.75-million through 2022-23
This still does not solve Calgary's cap space issue (read: lack thereof) to presumably sign Matthew Tkachuk, David Rittich and Sam Bennett.
— Kristen Anderson (@KdotAnderson) July 19, 2019
Maybe a change in scenery will help?
7:45pm update: The trade is now official. The Oilers will retain 12.5 percent of Lucic’s salary. The pick is a conditional third-rounder in the 2020 NHL Draft.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) July 19, 2019
The Oilers are retaining 12.5 percent of Lucic’s salary in the trade.
— Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) July 19, 2019
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