Flames, Oilers swap struggling veterans as Neal goes north for Lucic

The Edmonton Oilers have dealt Milan Lucic to the Calgary Flames for fellow veteran forward James Neal.

The Flames confirmed the deal on Friday night.

Calgary also gets a conditional third round pick in the 2020 NHL draft. Edmonton will also retain 12.5 per cent of Lucic’s remaining contract.

Lucic signed a seven-year, US$ 42-million contract with Edmonton on July 1, 2016, but hasn’t lived up to that hefty price tag.

He had six goals and 14 assists with a minus-9 defensive rating over 79 games with the Oilers last season.

After the trade was made official Lucic tweeted a photo of a Flames jersey with his name and No. 17 on the back.

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.

His seven goals last season was the fewest he had scored in his 11 NHL seasons and he was a healthy scratch in Game 5 of the Flames’ opening-round loss to the Colorado Avalanche in this year’s playoffs.

“That was hard,” Neal said a few days after the Flames were eliminated. “I’ve never had to go through that in my career.

“I want to be a top-six guy who is counted on to score big goals and be an impact player. I’ve been like that my whole career.”

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CBC | Sports News