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Report: Flames sign James Neal ($5.75m, 5 years)

The Flames are continuing their aggressive offseason of change by adding one of the biggest names on the UFA market. Although not official yet, many are reporting that the Flames have signed UFA winger James Neal to a five-year, $5.75M contract.

There’s no official details on the contract just yet, but there doesn’t appear to be any indication of a no-move/no-trade clause being given out.

The Flames looking at Neal made a lot of sense, as discussed in his UFA profile. Neal is coming off a 25-goal, 19-assist season with the Vegas Golden Knights. He has scored at least 21 goals in every season in the NHL, making his name as a consistent and effective winger throughout four different stops in his career. Neal has been a Stanley Cup runner-up the past two seasons, finishing just short with the Nashville Predators and the Vegas Golden Knights. He’ll turn 31 in September, but there doesn’t seem to be any hint of him slowing down just yet.

This signing leaves the team with about $12.8M in cap space with nine RFAs to deal with, including Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin. You can probably expect a few more moves.


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  • JusAFlamer

    a little iffy about this signing (mostly cap wise due to unknown hanifin and lindholm cost and tkachuk extension next year)
    yes something needed to be done and could be good fit.
    not really worried about the term 4 wouldve been better but 5 is decent.
    fills a need, but now too many bodies designated nhl and way too close/or over cap.

  • WidemansAnger

    Neal is going to be what Brouwer was suppose to be, Veteran leader forward with grit to lead the younger forwards. Gio is the captain but leading the defence, Flames needed a forward who leads by results. I bet that “A” is handed over to Neal…

  • Mitchell

    So much for that opportunity that czarnik was supposedly getting here. I guess tre really wants to make the young guys earn there playing time. From a development standpoint I’m not sure that’s the best route to take for Calgary young players, but I guess the flames at very least are a better team in the short term.

  • The GREAT WW

    I’m convinced that BT has a trade in place to move some cap.
    We’re all hoping it is Brouwer, Frolik, Stone.
    Maybe it’s Gaudreau……does BT feel that Gaudreau gave up the last half of the season?
    Time will tell…..

    WW

  • McRib

    Wow, I am sure thankful Reeves fell through, to go from that to this is a heck of a positive swing. It’s a year or two of an overpay on length of term, but the deal likely doesn’t get done without it.

    James Neal is a legit goal scorer, something we were dearly missing last season. I doubted Brad Treliving to start the summer, but so far, so good. Brian Burke was clearly standing in the way, Treliving has been a major deal maker without Burke this summer, I like everything I am seeing.

  • BendingCorners

    I like this signing, it might be one year too long but that is not unusual for UFA signings. Mickey should think of Neal as Reaves with more talent and fewer fights.
    There may be more moves coming but right now it looks like we have (finally) six top-six forwards and some good depth that can play higher when necessary.
    Lazar, Hathaway and Brouwer could all end up in Stockton at this point. If one or two of them stay in Calgary then it’s because one or more of Mangiapane, Foo and Czarnik failed to bull their way onto the roster.
    So far a pretty good off-season, although I’m still wondering whether Brodie will be good enough next year and who the backup ‘tender will be.

  • Flint

    Considering the contracts that are being handed out lately, that’s pretty good value for a 30+ goal scorer (.374GPG) and (.704PPG) career player signed as a UFA.

    • TheBear64

      He hasn’t scored 30 goals since 2015-16, and didn’t score 30 goals for three seasons previous to that. Given that he was playing on an obviously better team in Vegas last season, I think it’s stretching things a bit to think he’s going to score 30+ goals for Calgary.

  • oddclod

    9 pages of Neil chat on Calgary Puck and FN posted mailbag instead well after the media had it. Resounding applause over there. (Likewise) Bye Brouwer. You were supposed to be play like the dude but you blew it. Signed and floated for two years before thinking about it.

  • Flint

    With this signing it’ll be interesting to see where Brouwer ends up next year. Could very well be in the AHL. The thing is, the owners can say all they want that they aren’t paying big $$$ to guys playing in the NHL, but they need to understand that every playoff home game is about 1million+ in revenue. The more Brouwer is in this lineup, the less playoff home games we’re going to be playing.

  • Searsy

    Capfriendly has our cap space at 12.86 presently, but that includes Quine (700K) and Prout (800K). If Stone is NOT moved, then Prout makes the team as the 7th D. Under no circumstances does Quine make the team, so let’s add his 700K so we have 13.56. From that, I am deducting Andersson (756K), Mangiapane (705K) as I have them making the team, but they’re not yet included by Capfriendly on the 23 man roster. With Lazar and Brouwer occupying the 13th and 14th forward roles, I don’t have Hathaway, Klimchuk or Shinkaruk counting against the cap. By definition, only one Gillies or Rittich can count against the cap, therefore all that leaves 12.099 to sign:
    Lindholm – 5.00 (Matt Cane projection 4.9)
    Hanifin – 3.50 (Matt Cane projection 2.34)
    Jankowski – 1.5 (Matt Cane projection 1.3)
    Kulak – 1.0 (Matt Cane projection 820K)
    Rittich/Gillies – 1.0 (Matt Cane projection between 816K (Rittich) and 942K (Gillies))

    RFA contracts equals 12 mil – meaning we will be right up against the cap. The two obvious moves to lessen the crunch will be 1) trading Stone, and 2) buying out Brouwer during the arbitration filing buy out window. They clearly are reluctant to buy out Brouwer until next year (when the 3 mil savings will be used on extending Tkachuk), therefore I think it’s almost a certainty that Stone gets moved prior to camp.

    Boom.

    I used

  • The Fall

    4th Line:
    YeastMode (LW) – Janko (C) – Czarnik (C/RW)

    Points per Game in the AHL last season:
    (1.18) – (1.33) – (1.08)

    The points, the speed, the o-zone draw potential is all there. Give these guys 80% O-zone starts and 12mins a night.

    • Flint

      Unless Mangiapane has done a lot of off season work I just don’t see an NHL player there, every game I saw he was scraping himself up off the ice. He looks like a tweener… I’m curious about Alan Quine… know nothing about him, but he could slot in on the 4th line LW.

  • oddclod

    Excited about Mangiapane Jankowski Bennett Foo not pressured to be saviours like Edmonton did with every prospect the last 20 years LOL. Neal took Brouwers job. The vet that stirs the drink for the forwards. LIKE

  • oddclod

    Even though, we traded Hamilton, this team is still chalk full of defensive assets to swap out for value the next two years including a goalie. Smith gonna be managed better this year and won’t fall off a cliff. Pedigree goalies have temperment and positioning to last. Pedigree yes. Was one of 3 Canada goalies the past 8 years. No small feat.

  • oddclod

    Is it just me or does Brouwer skate like those 80’s Hasselhoffish actors (unsuccessfully) doing their own stunts? Buffed upper body but no leg strength. I question whether he can touch his toes TBH.

    • oddclod

      literally who trashes this stuff? the virtue signaller type that ruins anyone’s attempt at a joke because it’s mean, or actual brouwer fan? Dude never been invited to the house party but lecture on drinking etiquette? Sometimes you ain’t been invited only because you have bad breath, there’s mints for that and you can save your personality if you’re not already over 30 and set in your ways. (y)

  • TheWheeze

    Yeah, he cost. Yeah, term is a bit long. But you gotta realize as a Canadian team in Alberta, competeing against big American free spending team with shiny new arenas, it takes a good pitch to get them to come here. Competeing for exciting cities like Vegas, LA, New York. Remember players and their families will be living where they will be playing. We have to pony up a bit more sometimes. I’m not complaining.

    • Seabass

      Excellent point Wheeze. That stadium needs to get done for many reasons. I’m a Flames fan living in Edmonton now for the past 21 years. The benefit of the new arena to the team and fans has been immediately apparent to the entire league. But the benefit to the community has been incredible. Deadmonton was a legitimate slag when talking about the downtown, but since the arena has opened there is great revitalization and rebirth. On top of that, the economic bonus to the city has been solid. Finally from an arts and culture point of view, we are seeing many acts here that we wouldn’t have seen and I’m sure a number of you have made your way up here to see some of these. The development around it continues to boom. Both the city and ownership need to stop wasting time and get going on it!

  • Franko J

    Flames desperately needed to add skill to the current lineup. Treliving accomplishes that with the signing of Neal. After last season and the way the team folded, changes were imminent.
    I don’t know how well his shooting % is. however I recall many a game the Flames missed the net a number of times. Hopefully with Neal the Flames have another player who can put the puck in the net.

  • johnny4prez

    neal played with haula and tuch for the majority of the year last season, monahan and gaudreau or even chucky and backlund would be a huge upgrade. 25-19-44 could easily be
    30-25-55 with us

  • oddclod

    James Neal knows how to get to finals. Geo been there too. Seems like we have the best two guys possible manning both decks. GFG. I want my seasons back because Edwards is pushing for a new arena and needs public sentiment to ice a good club. lol Either way GFG

  • Styxx

    Not to turn this into an arena rehash…but the sum total the Oilers paid for Rogers Place was $25M over 30 years, in return for Katz et al redeveloping 4 square blocks around the arena and transforming the downtown.

    The deal here is Nenshi sees no community benefit, and 100% of the cost is borne by the Flames (1/3), Flames events (1/3 ticket surcharge), and a City-backed loan to be repaid by the Flames (1/3). Oh yeah…and in return for the Flames paying 100% of the arena, the City requires the Arena to be available to the City for Stampede and other select events and also to pay $5M per year in taxes for this piece of civic infrastructure. I wonder if Nenshi’s pet project is 100% user pay and what the annual tax bill is ..??

    Nenshi is still trying to torpedo any discussions. Nenshi is one BIG reason why the Olympics will never pass a vote as real leadership is required.