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.

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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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  • Snitch

    I don’t know what people want on here. They want a top 6 RW, but they don’t want to pay for it. Last week on here it was trade for Kessel. Costs you more money and and assets. Yesterday they want Pat Maroon, who’s not near the player Neal is. They wanted JVR who coat a lot more.

    I don’t get it. What is it you really want. This is a free agent deal for a top 6 RW. Makes our team waaaay better. And no we aren’t going to let Tkachuk walk next year because we can’t afford him (get a grip people).
    We now have a few extra bodies who can be moved and maybe gain a few assets along the way.
    Welcome James Neal! Great signing here!

    • Trevy

      Thanks Snitch, you nailed it. People on here will never be happy and will criticize virtually any signing somehow. GM’s have to do what they have to do to make their team better. I personally love the fact that Treliving is not afraid to take a risk. Only one team can win the Cup every year. I’d rather have a GM try and fail the odd time than do nothing and be stuck with a mediocre team year after year

    • Roger the Shrubber

      This 100%. I love this signing. Obviously I’m not in love with the term, but the Flames have a goal scorer for the top line now. He also brings a bit of moxie, which I like as well.

      And for those worried about Tkachuk, give your head a shake. Kid is going to be the captain one day.

    • cberg

      You have to watch who is saying what. There are the regulars, the sporadic and then the trolls. Between all three groups you’ll get a wide variety of views on any issue. Personally, I believe signing Neal is a great coup! If we could get Maroon as a FA, or say Kassian for Brouwer we’d be near complete. Still only July 2nd. Lots of summer to go.

      • SgtRoadBlock

        how dare a fan point out the team has a weak locker room last year… then boom the Deer get trade like we said 9 weeks ago should of happen , but we must be trolls.. unless we say it a Cup year run every year right ??

    • imthedude63

      Boom … right on the mark. A proven consistent NHL goal scorer. What other goal scoring RFA’s would the C of Red been excited to see signed… Stasney, Tavares? The way these guys train now he could continue to keep those 20 goal years coming throughout the term. Now I’m excited as we have a legit top 6

  • Zalapski

    Honestly, with his finish there’s probably at least 1 more 35 goal season in there if he plays with Jonny! I opened my phone expecting a maroon deal. This is better.

    Trade Stone to ditch some salary!

  • imthedude63

    Great signing. The term is the cost of doing business. He is a proven Consistent scorer in the NHL . He could have that Iggy type consistency for the 5 years and keep popping 20 a year.

    Lots of bodies around and more moves must be on the horizon

    This move makes the Flames better. We have a legit top 6

    • Trevy

      I agree, guys like Neal are consistent true goal scorers, like Marleau. Numbers don’t lie. Great signing and I wouldn’t worry about the cap. Lots of options such as buying out Brouwer next season, trading Stone for a pick, Lazar’s contract comes off the books, or maybe Brodie gets traded next season as well to make room for another one of our rookie dmen. BT’s not stupid when it comes to cap numbers. If Tor can add Tavares knowing they have to still pay up for their other big 3, I think we’ll be fine

  • Thunder1

    James “the real deal” Neal plus Lindy and Hanifin at an opening night cost of Ferly and Hamilton from last season… what’s not to like? We didn’t make the playoffs. Treliving had to shake it up. I think the Flames will be way better next season and frankly, don’t care less how they spend Murray Edward’s ?

  • 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…

  • Clayton

    I think James Neal is exactly what the Flames had hoped Ferlund could have developed into. The value is good for a top 6 forward that has a few more 20+ goal seasons in him. The drop off typically begins at 34 for players so the Flames will get 3 solid years, one sliding year and one year where fans will wish he was gone. Seems like a pretty good makeover Tre has given the Flames.

    • buts

      Agree Clayton… I love the signing as it gives us almost 2 lines and if Foo or someone else surprise like Dube all we need is another goalie that can rest Smith and we are a contender.

  • RKD

    Comparing this deal to Brouwer is ludicruous James is a vastly superior player. Brouwer was propped up in St. Louis and made better by his teammates. Maybe it is a tad too long, he’s still making less than Gio and a much better option than Maroon. BT didn’t have to give up anyone off his roster which he would have had to if he wanted to do it via trade for a Kessel, Duchene, Skinner, etc.

  • 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.

  • zachg

    To all those complainers,we just signed the best rw FA available.we have a legit top 6, proven top line winger and a chance to make some noise. Yeah term is a bit long but goddamn , if we have a chance for a cup let’s do it!! ” Mony to Neil to Johnny he ……..

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Neal is absolutely a legit top 6 forward, but do the Flames have two legit scoring lines with the addition of Neal? Maybe or maybe not, but they are a lot closer to having those two coveted lines this morning than they were at this time yesterday, so this signing looks pretty sweet from where I sit.

    • SgtRoadBlock

      yep Tkachuk, Hanifin and Lindholm Hope they will ask for $3million each or less or we in Trouble next year, And we ALL know they will be getting more then that…

      • freethe flames

        The sky is not falling. Let’s say Lindholm/Hanifin/Janko/Kulak/Rittich cost $12m some of the other contracts get buried in the AHL there will some cap space. If all of these guys are signed for more than 1 year and they all should be that leaves BT with over $11m the following year(plus buyouts, plus cap inflation) to sign Tkachuk, Bennett, and a goalie. So no the sky is not falling.

      • The Beej

        Yup. Pretty sure brouwers money is being saved for tkachuk.

        Not sure we need to free up much more salary for this year.

        If Lindholm Hanifin combine for about $9. That leaves about 4. Lazar on waivers brings us to about 5m. Janko Kulak and Mangi and Anderson (not sure if Tiberi’s cap number includes Mangi and Anderson) probably will fit. We need to squeeze a back up goalie in though.

        Well perhaps Stone gets dealt to Ottawa. That might help them with his Brothers negotiation.

        Might be a little tight but I think its doable without anything major happening.

  • FL?MES

    This offseason is amazing! I was worried that Tre wouldn’t do enough but he’s tearing the walls down and building a new look team. Just what the doctor ordered.

    Go ? Go!!!

    • BettmanReturns

      I’d honestly pencil Dube into Mangis spot on your chart personally. But hey who knows what will happen. We got a legit contender next season boys. Our top 6 is disgusting. Hats off to Brad.

    • Styxx

      I would pencil in Janko as the 3C ….17 goals as a rookie mostly with Hathaway on his wing speaks to his upside. Another look (there are so many) might be:
      Czarnik, Dube, Foo

      Valimaki, Kylington
      – does Stone get traded for a 3rd rounder (what we paid?)

    • SgtRoadBlock

      so where Brouwer, Lazer and Hathway? just place them waivers… sorry don’t seeing Manggy making this team now or any other kid too.
      Only way this work is a trade or $Dump or buy out…
      9 Rfc still to sign good luck BT you will have a Huge camp for the China trip and back pre season games.

  • flames2015

    Wow, this is some news to wake up to! Not at all what i expected. I personally am stoked for this, we’ve been saying we need a true #1 RW for how many years now. Our forward line up from top to bottom gets me pumped!

  • EhPierre

    I know some of you are concerned about this contract; the concern is valid. But you have to remind yourselves that he was making $6m so to sign a UFA to less than what he was making, is really impressive. Especially when its a top 6 winger that’s consistently putting up 20 goals, has been to two consecutive finals and plays with an edge. From all the rumours I’ve been reading, it seems like he turned down a few teams despite most of them paying higher, but with less term.

    A few of you are quite disappointed at Tre for not getting Reaves (not sure why) but Neal plays the game with an edge and is perfect for us as we compete in one of the physical divisions in the league. If one of the kids can come into camp (Mangi, Dube) and really blow the doors off, I have to imagine that Frolik has to be shipped out.