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The Lucic trade gives the Flames a tiny bit of cap wiggle room

The Calgary Flames made a trade on Friday afternoon, acquiring Milan Lucic from the Edmonton Oilers in a swap that saw Edmonton retain $750,000 of Lucic’s cap hit for the next four seasons. The trade helps the Flames in their effort to ice a full roster that can fit under the salary cap, but they still have a lot of work to do.

The roster so far…

The Flames have added Cam Talbot (free agency) and Milan Lucic (trade), while subtracting Mike Smith (free agency), Garnet Hathaway (free agency), Oscar Fantenberg (free agency) and James Neal (trade).

Here are the players likely to be locks for the opening night roster:

  • F Johnny Gaudreau – $6.75 million
  • F Sean Monahan – $6.375 million
  • F Mikael Backlund – $5.35 million
  • F Milan Lucic – $5.25 million
  • F Elias Lindholm – $4.85 million
  • F Michael Frolik – $4.3 million
  • F Derek Ryan – $3.125 million
  • F Mark Jankowski – $1.675 million
  • F Austin Czarnik – $1.25 million
  • D Mark Giordano – $6.75 million
  • D Noah Hanifin – $4.95 million
  • D TJ Brodie – $4.65 million
  • D Travis Hamonic – $3.86 million
  • D Michael Stone – $3.5 million
  • D Rasmus Andersson – $755,833
  • G Cam Talbot – $2.75 million
  • Troy Brouwer’s Buyout – $1.5 million

All these established costs – nine forwards, six defensemen and a goalie – add up to $67.64 million. That leaves the Flames with $13.86 million to cover the remaining roster spots – five forwards, a defenseman and a goalie – plus performance bonuses.

Re-upping the RFAs

Of the remaining seven roster spots, it’s safe to say that four will go to a quartet of restricted free agents: goaltender David Rittich and forwards Matthew Tkachuk, Sam Bennett and Andrew Mangiapane.

How much will they cost? Let’s ballpark Rittich at around $3 million, and using Evolving Wild’s projections, let’s peg Tkachuk at $7 million, Bennett at $2.4 million and Mangiapane at $900,000. Adding those cap guesstimates to the existing deals, that gives the Flames a 20-man roster and a cap hit of $80.94 million.

With an $81.5 million cap ceiling, that gives the Flames $560,000 to fill out the three remaining roster spots, cover in-season injury replacements and performance bonuses. Obviously that won’t work because even the most cost effective probably roster options – Juuso Valimaki ($894,166), Dillon Dube ($778,333) and Alan Quine ($735,000) – would be far too expensive.

Options to create more space

The easiest thing for the Flames to do to create cap space would be to buy out Stone when the second buyout window opens in August (following the resolution of the team’s last arbitration case). A buyout would open up $2.333 million in cap space – giving the team $2.893 million to cover two defensemen, two forwards and bonuses – but it likely wouldn’t be enough. Even using Valimaki, Dube and Quine and adding in Brandon Davidson ($700,000) as the seventh defender, it still wouldn’t be enough space. (They would need another $214,000 to squeeze everybody under the cap, and that would give them absolutely no wiggle room for in-season moves.)

Even if the Flames buy Stone out they need to make another move to free up another $1 million in space (if not a bit more). There are still dominoes left to topple before the end of this off-season.

  • Uranus

    Hard to say what’s going on in BT’s head but let’s hope that this wasn’t a panic move after two botched trades. On the bright side, Neil was all around bad and didn’t bring anything to the table. Lucic, in contrast will hit and get to the net. Puckpedia shows that we won this trade when you compare the player stats but time will tell.

    I’m surprisingly relieved that pretty boy Neil (aka Chicklets) is gone. What a useless, uninspiring, turd.

    • Flaming moe

      You think lucic can play 4 more years at this pace? Lol seriously ? He’s getting slower each year while the young kids get faster. He has no hands as in he can’t pick up a hard pass, he can’t make a pass, he can’t stick handle in tight or with no one around him. He makes 3 big hits a season add in a couple suspensions for guys that don’t want to waste there time figting him and yeah….. you have a guy making $6 million per for doing nothing! He is terrible in the dressing room. He will be in Calgary too once he’s told he’s on the 4th line.

      • SgtRoadBlock

        yes but this Goon we got now is $6 million on the 4th line for next 4 season maybe cracking 8mins of ice time… Ever network work is asking why do this trade we didn’t get any thing back..

        • Flaming moe

          I agree SGT. Tsn and Sportsnet can’t wrap there heads around what BT is doing unless he has another trade coming. Which there reply was “I don’t Know if you can’t find 2 teams willing to trade for lucic’s contract.”

        • The Iggy complex

          We actually got a 5.25 million dollar tough guy who brings something of her isn’t scoring. While Edmonton got at 6.5 million dollar player who if he isn’t scoring, which he likely won’t as he will be too slow and uninterested to keep up, use useless

  • Abagofpucks

    I don’t think neal will be a big deal but i do hear he’s training hard with Gary Roberts, who knows if he can reinvent himself.

    The thing about looch is if everybody leaves him alone and just plays hockey, looch tends to disappear.

    • Flaming moe

      The pressure on Looch will be at an all time high to perform in Calgary. He likes to blame everyone but himself for not having kept up with the game. Bob Stauffer asked him one time in a interview why he was one of only 2 guys on the oilers that doesn’t have an off season skills coach and Lucic got real defensive and said “that’s not my game” lol
      Like wtf kind of unprofessional big baby answer is that. You are being paid $6 mill per and you can’t score, pass, stick handle or skate and you don’t think you should work on skills. Unreal BT.

        • The Iggy complex

          Lol you obviously didn’t watch the flames at all last year. I guess not being an Oilers fan. Too hard watching a far superior team succeed. But Neal was epically slow and just floated around everywhere. No interest in any part of the game. Not even the physical stuff. Reporters were saying when they went into the dressing room to interview players, Neal will would be pouting in the corner in his own

        • HOCKEY83

          It’s pretty sad that the thing the oiler fans are most excited about this coming season is that they’ve added James (the not so real deal) Neal and Mike Smith, who will be 38 before the season is over and absolutely loves to hand teams easy goals in every single game he plays, to their roster. Way to get themselves out of the basement. McDavid must be so looking forward to the future of this team.

        • Luter 1

          Not only do the Oilers or Neal have to worry about the Stanley Cup finals but you will soon find out this guy is completely done. If you watched Flames games last year he was the worst player on the ice most nights, even with early season opportunities with good players and power play.

  • b

    I’ve tried to get a clear answer on this but google is failing me. Am hoping one of you intelligent folks can help: with regards to season opening roster and cap compliance this article is assuming a 23-man roster, but couldn’t the flames go with 22 or even 21 to help come in under the cap? Obviously there would be waiver considerations and concerns in the event of injuries/suspensions, but it is an option, right?

    • Albertabeef

      Yes, all you need is 20 players, but you can now have up to 23. I think the NHL screwed up adding that roster player without adding enough cap room to fill it. Just my opinion.

    • supra steve

      Is the whole Lucic NMC/expansion draft even relevant? The Flames team strength this year, and for the next couple of years I would bet, is their D corps. I believe the next expansion draft is going to cost them a D man because their 4th best D will be far more attractive than their 7th or 8th best F. So if that is the case, protecting Lucic doesn’t change the outcome of losing that #4 D man. For that reason the NMC is probably not worth losing any sleep over.

        • Kevin R

          How do you even know whats going to happen in two years? Maybe Lucic waives NMC to go to Seattle & Tre adds a decent prospect & a 2nd for Francis to take Lucic. Also, just because Tre is honouring, his NMC doesnt mean we cant buy him out if it means protecting somebody instead. So we dont get much cap space relief.

      • Porcupine at a balloon party

        That’s a great point Steve. Not to mention he probably waives the NMC since he a) likely won’t be taken, b) Seattle is close to hometown.
        Totally agree the expansion argument is overblown right now. If I hear Lucic say he’s not going to waive to scorn the flames, I might be worried a bit. But assuming our roster stays the same, which it won’t, Johnny mono, Lindholm, tkachuck, Bennett, mango, Dube will be the only forwards really worth saving. Backlund will be on tail end of contract then and likely at best just barely providing his 5.5m AAV value (I’m a Backlund lover, but that contract will not be team friendly by end of it, if it is now… Not saying it will be a boat anchor either necessarily). I’m not sure if Phillips will need protecting and would be totally fine if we lost someone like Jankowski.

        Steve is probably right, we will lose a defenceman, someone like kylington. Maybe Gio, or hell, depending on how Hanafin progresses, perhaps his contract doesn’t look great and they expose him.

        Long story short, agree with Steve

    • HOCKEY83

      Who cares. Every team is going to be so cap strapped by then that they will be grateful to have an excuse to give away a contract at that time. I’m sure some teams wish they were forced to do it now.

    • Flaming moe

      That is so gross that lucic is protected. That means one of Calgary’s skilled players with a lot of value with be scooped up in order to keep Loooooooch around 🤦‍♂️
      This could be a dagger in tres career.

      • HOCKEY83

        So what if it’s a dagger in Tre’s career? I don’t think anyone here cares about Tre’s career. One of every team’s skilled players will be snapped up in the expansion draft. Well all except Edmonton of course considering their AHL calibre team that needs protecting…what do you have there in edmonton…3 skilled players. But thanks for acknowledging that the flames have a lot of skilled players with a lot of value.

      • The Iggy complex

        Lol seriously do flaming Moe or beef know anything about hockey. I get your trying to be completely negative because you Hate the flames bit they are not stuck. No point in explaining any of it though. You will choose to ignore it and profess all that is negative

        • Albertabeef

          I don’t hate the Flames. I don’t like Tre, sure. Never liked Talbot or Lucic. First reactions to acquiring players you despise are usually not positive. As the season wears on I may change my mind, but my first impression is not good. As for knowing anything about hockey, well I know you never help a divisional rival like Edmonton get a break from their cap hell. If you don’t know that then maybe you don’t know as much as you think you know. There is a reason why this was the third ever trade between the two teams.
          Honestly I don’t think Lucic’s heart has been in the game since Canuck fans egged his mom’s house. But keep your blinders on and see whatever you like :).

  • Albertabeef

    A left winger who shoots left. I do believe Tre has lost his mind, and in turn has caused me to further lose mine. Why not trade Bennett for Chiasson or Andersson for Kris Russell. Maybe Tre can bring Ryan Smythe out of retirement. Feuking Calgary Oilers 🙁

    • Kevin R

      You need to go have a nice shot of Salted Caramel Crown Royal on ice. Then turn on the Live version of Van Halen’s Panama & listen to the moral to worry about today, today,& worry about yesterday that day, & not worry about tomorrow until tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come, f***k tomorrow.

      • Albertabeef

        Hey pot meet kettle! Dude seriously, you are way way way more negative than I am. Just get gotta here with that garbage. I just have to mention one word to you, “Monahan”. lol 😛

  • SgtRoadBlock

    we lost in this trade in so many ways…we not even going to get that 3rd round pick unless the goon get 10 goals

    BT planning not to be the GM before Seattle join it so easy to see what he doing ..

    Poor Janko go from Brouwer to Neal and now the Goon… yep it Janko fault for not getting more ice time lol..

    GFG

    • Albertabeef

      The way I read it is Neal needs to score 21 and has to have 10 or more goals than Lucic for us to get that 3rd. Lucic has scored 23, 10, and 6 goals over the last 3 years with the Oil. At that rate he should score 2-4 goals this season.

    • Willi P

      The conditions for the 3rd round pick have nothing to do with how many goals Lucic gets. He can get zero goals. The conditions are that Lucic has to get 10 less goals than Neal and Neal has to score at least 21 before the Flames get the 3rd rounder.

      I think it is, however, the weirdest conditional draft pick trades I have ever seen. BT should have got a lower guaranteed pick that bumped up to a 3rd if it met conditions.

      • Albertabeef

        So are we supposed to hope he sucks so we can get a draft pick out of the deal? Gotta hope the guy we traded away has a decent comeback season?
        Yes the amount of goals Lucic gets is important. If Neal somehow gets his 21 and only that and Lucic somehow gets 12 goals, we get no draft pick. My only thought was at his rate of decline Lucic’s scoring he may only get a handful of goals. The only question mark then is will Neal hit 21.

    • Luter 1

      Not much to lose…..Neal…..the anchor of the year last year. You didnt notice our talent needed to be protected better?. Looch will do that as his job. Neal had no role because he was signed as a finisher and proved he was finished

        • supra steve

          So…the sewing circle is snickering? Oh my, this is bad.

          Moved one overpriced player who didn’t fit in with the team, who ownership was probably not all that keen on buying out. Got another overpriced player who fills a team need.
          Would have been way cheaper if Reeves would have signed with the Flames instead of Neal last year…but that ship has sailed. Problem child Neal is gone and surprise surprise, none of us is thrilled with the cost of moving him. But the sky is not falling, every time any move is made a percentage of the fan base just completely flips it’s lid. I’m willing to wait for the season and hope for the best.

          • Kevin R

            I think what everyone is forgetting is the blow up during the preskate between Neal & Peters & the subsequent game 5 scratch was the end of Neal in Calgary. They kept a pretty good lid on how bad the relationship was between Peters & Neal & there was just no way Neal could be in a Flames uniform come training camp. Both sides said all the right things during the offseason. I doubt Flames ownership would authorize a buyout & told Tre this is your signing, your mess deal with it & trade him. Problem was no one would take him without a huge sweetener. Can you imagine the screaming if we had to package Dube or Kyllington to move Neal? Tre was in a bad place. We needed a nuclear detterent & like you would have preferred Reaves & his 1 year left at 2.75mill. But Vegas wouldnt trade him to a divisional rival & they wouldnt take any contract back as they have their own cap nightmares.

            We had no answer to that puke Zadorov who I saw viscously crosscheck Backlund from behind. We would have had no answer to that puke E Kane nor Reaves. We had no answer to Lucic against us or even Kassian for that matter. We wouldnt have had an answer to Ferland who we are about to see 5 times a year & possibly playoffs. Now we do. If you have a few beers with any of the Flames players now, they are going to be a lot happier having Lucic doing 8:00 minute shifts & making boneheads who go after our smaller skilled guys accountable. Our players are going to be able to play just that little bit taller, including Tkachuk & Bennett. People dont think this isnt needed are wrong.
            Im just thrilled we habe our nuclear deterrent & let other teams play softer not to wake him up against us & we got rid of Neal & actually gained $500K of cap space per year & potentially a pick. I have no expectations for Lucic scoring 20 goals. For people thinking Neal is a better rebound possibility, it would never have happened on the Flames. I have my doubts about Neal in Edmonton, heck he couldnt keep up with Monahan, who isnt exactly a speed demon, how in the world is he going to keep up with McDavid or RNH?

            Last note, because Lucic was paid a lot of bonuses, his actual $$$ to be paid over the next 4 years is actually $7.0 million less than Neal & then add in the extra $3.0mill Oilers are retaining, that is significant. If Flames chose to buyout Lucic in two years prior to the expansion draft, the actual real $$$ Ownership have to write is significantly less than if they were buying out Neal. Yeah we dont get any cap benefit from the buyout but cap space & real dollars does mean something if you’re the guy writing the cheques.

          • Luter 1

            Oh don’t mention Reaves, I got trashed over an over that we needed a Reaves type player, now we ended up with an extremely expensive version. Playoffs proved we were too soft and Tre has known this for a few years as he tried getting Reaves, Kadri, thought he was getting some grit in Neal, so he has struggled to find that type of player. Good riddance on Neal, dragged everybody down with his effort, attitude and lack of leadership. Just shows these GM’s aren’t nearly as smart as you would expect because both these guys were real boner signings.

          • slapshot444

            Can’t wait till Jan 11th 2020. The dome will be rocking. Every hit Lucic throws will send the crowd to its feet. Every goal on Smith will be an extra cheer.

          • SgtRoadBlock

            lol Funny some of us told you we where doomed at All Star break , people here where like we fin we going deep into the playoffs lol..Now we need crap grit cause people r turning down to sign here or get trade here …So we got a goon that will ice maybe 8mins for $5million yeap we winning

            Maybe the Great Backland on his 12 seasons here will score for what he getting pay for… cause Janko can do what he doing on the PK and even score for under $2million ..

            not like we at the Cap lol…

          • Albertabeef

            @kevinr “I think what everyone is forgetting is the blow up during the preskate between Neal & Peters & the subsequent game 5 scratch was the end of Neal in Calgary.”

            I wonder how much of this is James Neal just simply telling his coach that he was being severely out coached? We will likely never know the truth about what happened. Still does not mean you trade with Edmonton. Yikes!

          • SgtRoadBlock

            yep why would ex pr hockey player know over people on a hockey fan site .. kool aid drinking gone over the limit again… this is like last year all over again we warn you at All Star break this team gas out.. we warn about Neal/Jager this Goon all bad things to have in a locker room with Drama kid’s

        • The Iggy complex

          Really… Not sure what your watching. The actual hockey experts are saying it is a hockey trade where two struggling players were traded for eachother. Happens all the time. Funny when the few uneducated fans trying to say the flames got fleeced or it was terribly one sided….. Lucic actually had more points than Neal last year on an absolutely terrible team playing most the year not with oner of the only 3 players who could score on Edmonton. Now he can play on oner of the highest scoring teams and get support on his line. He will actually go in the corners and dig for picks, not just float around and hope he gets the puck

          • Albertabeef

            3rd time in the 39 years I have been a fan that these two teams have traded players. No, it doesn’t happen all the time. For some of us just the thought of trading with Deadmonton is far worse than finger nails down a chalkboard.

  • Derzie

    Cue the turd polishing. Lucic is not an NHL player anymore. Sure he’s tough. But his contract is considered the worst in the league and until yesterday untradeable. Once again, Treliving knows better. Another reclamation project with almost zero probability of success. Great GMs know how to exploit other GMs weaknesses. Holland schooled Tre. Period.

  • Flamesforever

    We need to relax Flamesnation. I for one am ecstatic Neal is gone. He was a black hole in our lineup. At least Lucic is engaged in the games he plays. As for the expansion draft I for one am not worried, if we lose a good player than we lose a good player, it’s the price of doing business.

        • Albertabeef

          Never in my life have I seen a Flames GM bring in two ex Oilers in a single season. Especially not without them spending at least a full season elsewhere to get the stink off. It’s hard for an old school Flames fan like me to wrap my head around. It feels completely wrong. Like every day of your life you put your right leg into your pants first and then 40 years later you have to switch and put your left leg in first. It just feels weird and wrong. Oh and our last GM who traded with the Oilers was fired basically as soon as the next offseason hit. Only a true old school Flames fan would understand my pain from this trade, and how much it truly stings. It’s like the Leafs trading with the Habs ot the Blue Jays trading with the Yankees. It’s just Feuking wrong!!!

      • SgtRoadBlock

        lol so if we not drinking the Kool aid we trolls ? omg timmys

        a lot of us point out how Neal, Jagr, Brouwer and now this goon coming here was cancer to the lock room and the ice..

        it like when we told you the great Deer need to be traded and you like we never trade a 6.6 rd shocker it happen
        oh how about this year All Star break when some of us said this team just gas/luck ran out and where going to get smoke in the playoffs.. 1st round playoff dam it happen..

        yep let’s not point facts.. check the back logs

        Fyi, Backland is not a 2nd line center maybe this 12 seasons he playing here you will come to terms that he not and should be moved for i don’t know Cap Room ??

        GFG

  • everton fc

    A couple of things come to my mind;

    1. Is his cap hit next season only $3mill, as his bonuses (another $3mill) were already paid, prior to July 17th?
    2. I “get” we have no tough guys – Canucks beefed up, the Oilers have “beef”… Other team in the West have the same. So I “get” Lucic’s role. But for $5.25mill/season? It’s screams of desperation – why not re-sign Ferland, and keep Neal?
    3. Unless… Neal was/is a real problem “in the room”.
    4. Fans and those who know him say Lucic is a very decent guy – a family guy. If he and Talbot can rebound – heck, if we get 12 goals and 20 assists out of Lucic – then it’s, at the least, somewhat digestible. But –
    5. This is one of the strangest trades I’ve seen, in some time. It’s like a Feaster trade. Nuts.

    BT could have put another nail in his coffin, with this one. He [BT] can’t afford for this one to quickly blow up in his face.

    (Other thoughts; “Possession Stats” show Lucic is far superior to Neal. He “drives possession”. Neal did not. Also, Neal is not a playmaker – look at his assist totals the past two years. If he can’t “snipe”, Neal’s value drops significantly, as it did here, last year. Finally, read some journalist up north who actually said Lucic is not as slow as everyone says. Wish I could find that quote – I’ll have to dig around for it.)

    • everton fc

      Add the factor of not making the playoffs, or being bounced in the first round, or being bounced in the first round by a resurgent Oilers team… And BT is gone. Period. This wouldn’t fall on Peters, or his staff.

      Here’s hoping Lucic pots 15 for us, but, the reality is, Chiasson “potted” 20+, w/McD. Neal is certainly more likely to do the same, with McD, than Chiasson is in repeating the feat.

    • Kevin R

      Who cares it means we get a 3rd. Neal may very well get 21 goals playing with McDavid. So what. You honestly think Neal was top line worthy on the Flames? Do think he gets top line on Flames this year coming up? Do think he gets 20 goals playing on 3rd & 4th lines & have him pout & challenge the coach on his usage like he did in the playoffs?
      I do expect Lucic to have a chat with a guy like Cole or Zadorov when they were taking liberties with our guys. Expectations are the key to this trade & I like the chances Lucic meets our expectations than Neal suddenly gets quicker, shows some push back & scores 20 goals in a Flames uniform. If Neal does it for the Oilers good for them but as long as Lucic does what we want from him, that’s what trades are all about. We gained assets not lose assets to get rid of Neal.
      He had to go.

    • ItsADoubleDion

      You view that as a win for the flames. Oilers miss the playoffs and calgary gets a early 3rd round pick. Neal will be extra motivated next year and constantly fed 1rst line minutes. After that he’ll become uninterested and a cancer in years 2-4

    • buts

      Skydog you would probably get 10 with McD buts I’ll guarantee you Neal won’t keep up with him. If Neal doesn’t score he brings nothing to the coil, if Lucic doesn’t score he still brings many intangibles this team needs. He’s a badly needed deterrent.

  • Ludis Fanaticus

    I’ve never wanted to vent more. And yesterday the site goes down.
    Maybe the internet gods were trying to save us from ourselves … but…

    I just don’t like this trade.
    I am, in general, supportive of the Flames management.
    They have done a very good job and I am proud of our team and its progression toward dominance, over the past 6 seasons.

    I am a season ticket holder; with 4 seats since 1995.
    Right now, I don’t want to watch this Flames team. I don’t want to hope this trade, that appears to tie our hands in the future with little hope of gains in the present, works out.

    If Treliving is right, I’ll eat crow.
    But I think I’ll be choking on pocket dogs until the end of the season and reminded of this horrible trade every 4th shift.

      • SgtRoadBlock

        lol if you think we can score that many goals again you on a Kool Aid ride. that was break out year hype run that crashed after the All Star break.. Just that Facts Ma’am

    • Luter 1

      I don’t understand as a ticket holder how you would see this as so negative. You had an upfront seat to watch the disaster called the “Real Deal” and must of thrown up on your hot dog a few times watching his embarrassing effort. You also had an upfront seat of seeing our talent getting abused for last couple years. I wouldn’t blame Johnny for wanting to leave the way we protect him. Yeah it’s not a perfect scenario but we got rid of an anchor, saved a few bucks and have a sorely needed policeman

    • Derzie

      Trashes of your post, Ludis, are the usual ‘in Tre we trust’ gang that poo-poos anything that resembles reality or criticism. The ONLY people in the world of hockey who think this trade holds anything positive for the Flames are on this blog. The rest of the world is laughing and shaking their heads.

  • buts

    I only care and like that Neal I gone. I went a number of games and watched him closely, the guy is slow and didn’t bring anything to the team. If Neal isn’t scoring he brings nothing. If Lucia isn’t scoring he brings a lot more. This team gets its stars slashed and cheap shotted with no deterrent especially in the playoffs when the refs tuck there whistles away. I say our anchor helps a lot more than the coils anchor. Lucic is a faster skater than Neal as well. Coil fans, Roberts can get you fit, he can’t get you faster. Go ahead say you won the trade….time will tell.

  • Doh!!!

    Couple questions: 1) How crazy bad is James Neal in the dressing room that he consistently scores 20 or 30 but no team wants him or is willing to give him a second chance? Wow. 2) Will Lucic be five or six times meaner than Lomberg on the fourth line (b/c that’s what we’re paying for here). I hope Lucic shows up next year pissed off at the world and plays like a mean machine, because nobody else on this team does right now.

    • Lazarus

      Lomberg? Seriously? Not even a comparison. No one is scared of that wet little muskrat. He goes and gets his ass kicked and smiles cuz he got a game in the NHL out of the deal

  • calgaryfan

    the good : James Neal and Mike Smith are not Calgary Flames. They are the Ken Hollands problem now. Maybe Peters can find a role for Lucic, time will tell. I am willing to let this play out as Neal was not a fit in Calgary.

  • BendingCorners

    The sky is not falling. I don’t think much of the trade but I’m glad Neal is gone. Lots of time to sort out who will be protected at the expansion draft, so nothing to worry about there, either. Sucks to be the Oilers though – the Flames’ #13 forward becomes their #4 forward. How bad a team is that?
    As for the cap, assume Frolik is traded for a pick and there is enough space for a 22-man roster plus a buffer for bonuses and injuries. BT is better off doing that than buying out Stone.
    Next year’s 4th line of Lucic, Jankowski, Dube gives all three a shot at moving up the lineup, and helping on special teams if necessary. Pencil in Mangiapane instead of Frolik, and see if Bennett, Ryan, Czarnik show the same chemistry they did last year in limited minutes. The lineup might or might not be any better, depending on player growth, but it doesn’t look worse.
    It should be a fun season.

    • Budgie

      Obviously Neal was shopped around and nothing developed-Calgary added Toughness. Lucic was good on Boston, who knows if he can’t create havoc in front of a Net and Andersson can let his cannon go, a goal off Lucic’s ass-perfect. Hathaway was tough, so is Lucic, a tad expensive but it does give the Flames some toughness that was lacking-Ferland was coveted for the same toughness-I look forward to the first game against the Oilers-Lucic banging them up instead of hammering us.

      • HOCKEY83

        He was good on Boston and LA as well as his first year in Edmonton. Last season saw his ice time drop 4 mins per game and look at the team he had to play with…just pure garbage. I’m excited to see him cause havoc in front of the net on the second PP unit.

        • Budgie

          I hope it works out better for Calgary, no doubt about Lucic’s role, Neal was a problem because if you wanted him to do well he’d have to be on the second line, top 6 and top playing minutes, he was never going to be used above the third line on Calgary. Lucic can be used like a pinch hitter, if the top line is getting abused throw him on the top line for a shift or two. I think we’d all agree he’s expensive as was Neal, but if no one wanted to trade due to Neal’s contract then we’d have Neal taking up a spot and hoping he can score again-at least we have toughness one element that was lacking. Hey maybe Lucic, Dube, Czarnick would work because Dube gets hammered and hurt often, and Czarnick is smaller, Lucic could create some room for them to pass it back and forth, a 5 million dollar player on a 4th. line just to be imposing to other teams

  • Beer League Coach

    At first I didn’t like this trade. Not sure now if I like it or not. I am very happy to see Neal out of here, no doubt about that. I sure hope that Lucic is a deterrent to all the goons on opposing teams. Just his presence on the bench could deter others from taking liberties with Johnnie. Just having a big bomb like him in our lineup is a plus. You don’t have to actually use the bomb as long as the opposition knows that you have that bomb. And if Neal scores 30 goals for Coilers then Lucic can score 19 for us and we will still claim their 3rd round draft pick. Lucic is not likely to score more than 10 so I hope Neal holds up his part of the deal and scores 21+ for Coilers. Seattle is going to get 1 player from each team, including Flames and Coilers, so Lucic is not really that much of a problem for the expansion draft. With the D men Flames have on the roster it is more likely that Seattle takes a D man from Flames. If they do take a forward, so what. They still only get 1 player off Flames roster.

  • Beer League Coach

    Oilers fans going all ga ga over Neal because it is less costly to them to buy him out than it would have been to buy out Lucic. If that is their biggest gain in this trade let them celebrate. That is such a negative way to assess the trade. I hope Lucic does enough for the Flames to justify keeping him until his contract expires. He doesn’t have to win the Richard trophy; just keep the goons away from Johnnie.

    • Kevin R

      Exactly! Expectations are very different. Oilers gave Lucic that 6.0 mill not only because of his physical presence but they thought he was top line & a 25-30 goal scorer. We dont need 25-30 goals from Lucic, we have enough scoring from our top 6.

      • LannyMac

        Yes but the fact Tre put us in this position with the Neil signing in the first place is a horrible mistake. I think that cracking is the ice below your feet Tre.
        your a fantastic at PR like the Old Man but your actions are less than stellar. If I knew you were going to hand out 5.25 for doing absolutely nothing I would have been the first one at your office door. Oh well opportunity missed.

        • Kevin R

          Yup, Tre needs to turn off the phone on July 1st’s. Just because I am ok with this trade doesnt condone the signing. The way RFA’s are commanding a bigger percentage of the salary cap, term & $$$ is an absolute no no in this league.

        • HOCKEY83

          Everyone in the league as far as talking heads go thought that the Neal signing for the flames was a good one just maybe a little too long but that was the price of winning the UFA. It didn’t work out…big deal…it happens to every team in the league at one point or another. At least Tre is not signing any massive Boat anchor contracts like paying a Doughty 11 mil per season until he’s 37 years old, Price 10.5 until he’s 38, or weber 7.8 until he’s 40. These are just a couple of examples and there are quite a few of them in this league right now that are far worse than paying Milan lucic over the next 4 years 3, 4 ,5 ,4 mil until he’s 34 years old.

      • Skylardog

        But we are still paying Luc top 6 money. And yes, we do need 25 to 30 out of someone on the roster that didn’t score that many last season. We only have 4 top 6 forwards, we are paying Luc the money that says he needs to be one. Frankly a revitalized Neal has a chance at being a top 6 guy. Luc is barely an NHLer anymore.

        • HOCKEY83

          Luc is a better nhler than Neal is. At least he knows if the points stop coming he better step his game up somewhere else and be useful. Neal…all he showed was that when he’s down and out all he can do is pout.

        • Luter 1

          We don’t need 25-30 out of him, just replace the 7 Neal scored last year and 2 or 3 good hits per game and one pummeling every 10 games and were miles ahead of last year. I’m losing faith in you Dog, Neal was a Dogs breakfast and you wanted to have him for another year?

  • TheDallyLama

    Re: expansion draft
    Was thinking about this and having to protect Looch for the X Draft, and I dunno I guess in my head I kind of feel it’s gonna be ok. Hear me out, if you feel I don’t present it well enough then trash away.

    -Ok so in 2 years time, in the event we ask Looch to waive his NMC, and I’m sure BT will do this, and he does, then scratch this post and no need for it.

    BUT..

    -If he does not want to waive it, then he has to be protected, leaving one of our fwds unprotected. So Seattle takes a forward from us. The way I see it is we do not lose any D and our D-core stays relatively strong.

    -if Looch is protected, leaving one of our fwds unprotected and Seattle takes a D regardless, then we do not lose any fwds, due to Lucic unwilling to waive. And our Fwd group stays relatively strong.

    -I guess kind of common sense, but what I’m getting at is, we should relax about the NMC and draft.
    Let Seattle take who they want that’s unprotected and DONT pay them extra assets to NOT take someone…
    If I remember correctly after the last expansion draft some GMs were kind of kicking themselves because they lost 2 assets due to paying handsomely for LV to take a certain player (ie Florida). I think I heard that on the 31 thoughts podcast so not just making that up to support my argument.

    The X draft is 2 years away. So much can happen between now and then, so why worry about it now? We’re going to lose a player just like the other 30 teams.

    Re:the trade itself
    I read yesterday An analyst trying to come from BT perspective. (Sorry I read about 10 articles on this yesterday so don’t remember exactly which one) We could have kept Neal, and his 5.75 AV and let him be a fish out of water again, let him not fit in the dressing room again, and isolate himself from the team and cause bad vibes all around and being essentially nothing to the table.
    Instead BT tries to be proactive. And if 5 plus million is going to be used anyway, well we mine as well not just throw it away. Let’s get something we need.
    Even tho we all know Looch is way over paid, at least he’s bringing something to the table. Who knows maybe he makes all our boys walk a few inches taller and with a chip on the shoulder.
    As much as ppl say the tough guy and intimidation factor is being pushed out of hockey. I guarantee you our skilled guys feel a lot better about going into a BOA or a west coast swing feeling a little more confident knowing Milan is throwing the Flaming C over his head too.

    That is all.
    Ps sorry so long didn’t realize I wrote that much.

    • TheBigChef

      Respectfully disagree my friend.

      In my opinion the NMC clause is the most unpalatable part of this trade. If you look at our current roster and mock draft a seattle expansion team, we would likely lose Jankowski, Kylington or Hamonic (if signed).

      Now that Lucic has to be protected, we will lose a forward spot, so will also have to expose Dube and Mangiapane. One or both of those guys could have big breakout years next year and become really valuable. So if we want to keep one of those guys. no we are talking about exposing Bennett or Backlund too.

      You’re right we don’t know what will actually happen come that time. The point is though that we just took on a big risk of losing an even better player, and I don’t think we gained enough to justify taking on that added risk.

      • Kevin R

        You cross that bridge in two years & if the best solution is to buy out Lucic, then you buy him out then. Or you make a deal with Seattle, either way, Lucic or Neal, we were going to lose someone we would prefer not to lose & we can only lose 1 guy. Whatever.

        • TheDallyLama

          Chef
          Thanks for keeping it civil. Yes I agree with you it wasn’t a good thing to take on. I see where ur comin from but what I was trying to get across is we are only going to lose 1 player
          Dube gets picked we get to keep Killer and mango
          Mango gets picked we keep the other two. Every team will have to make decisions.
          I personally think looch will waive his NMC but who knows. Agree to disagree have a good day
          Kevin R
          Yup as I said in the original, there’s so much time between now and then we best just leave it alone as anything can happen

        • SgtRoadBlock

          this site has a high % of people that like we cross the Bridge when we need to then act all shock when things we been saying for a year now happen.. maybe we can resign Jagr lol or Keep Backland on the 2nd like till he play his 14 seasons with then maybe talk about trading him lol

        • TheBigChef

          That’s not the point. With Lucic protected it means there is someone we would have wanted to protect who no longer will be. Losing Dube could be much worse than losing Kylington.

          And Lucic is buyout proof. The cap savings are negligible.

      • TheDallyLama

        Okay fair enough. Agreed on the fact we are going to have to expose 1-2 maybe even 3 key pieces. But the point I was trying to make is Seattle is only taking 1. And just like every other team in the league we will lose a piece. Ya maybe Seattle has a choice now and more options but regardless the sky ain’t falling.
        They take Dube we keep Kylington
        They take Killer we keep Dube.
        I guess we could argue that back and forth to no avail, more or less a glass half full/empty type thing. But yes good reply thanks for keeping it civil
        Lama

      • Beer League Coach

        When the expansion draft is held Backlund will be 33 years old. Maybe we won’t want to protect him at that time. So if Seattle claims him that would help our cap situation at that time and possibly one of our 2019/20 rookies in Stockton will step up and force Backlund out anyways. Regardless we are only going to lose one player in the expansion draft, just like all other teams in the league except Vegas.

        • TheBigChef

          Yes I agree. The “maybe” part is the point. We don’t know what will happen then, but we do know Lucic will still have his NMC and require protecting. Maybe he will waive it, maybe he won’t. Maybe Backlund will have declined and we won’t need to protect him. But maybe we will. And maybe we will have traded for someone else who we will want to protect. Or Dube breaks out. The point is we don’t know anything other than Lucic has a NMC and gets a protected spot. That means there is risk. Taking on risk is fine if there is an expected benefit that equals or outweighs the risk. All we got was $500k in cap space and some cash to front load Tkachuk’s contract. I’m not on board with the move.

          • mrroonie

            ” The point is we don’t know anything other than Lucic has a NMC and gets a protected spot.”

            Really? We don’t know that Lucic won’t have been traded, bought out, or retired by June 2021, or that he wouldn’t waive his NMC at that time so, “maybe”, he will require protecting.

            Management, as they should be, appear to be more concerned with what happens for the team in the 2 seasons prior to June 2021 and probably have plans in place so they can make the necessary decisions about the expansion draft at the appropriate time.

  • LannyMac

    How do you Ostriches text with your heads in a hole. Want to catch one of you doing it some time must be quit a feat. There is no upside to Lucic he will never score more than 10 again in a season. Our best hope is he can raise havoc on the second powerplay unit and that he can keep up enough on the fourth line to warrant putting on a jersey. Their is a very good chance neither will work out. In regards to Neil chances are based on the eye test last year this guy is done but it was his first bad year of pts production. If and a big if he produces with Nug or McD next year the fan base is going to be asking for Tre’s head. I know I will be.

    • The Iggy complex

      Never score ten again…. Didn’t know you could see the future. Actually playing with NHL players now on a team that score goals he could easily score ten. He could also suck. Who knows. That’s the thing about trades. Kind of need to wait to see how they play out.

    • HOCKEY83

      Lucic was picked up by the flames specifically to punish people on the ice. It’s obvious to them and anyone who understands hockey that he is not the offensive player he once was. If he pots the odd goal and assist….BONUS. Neal had nothing going for him but his offence and that has all but dissapeared. If he pots a few because he’s playing along side one of the best players in the game good for him but regardless of how any of this turns out…who cares what the fan base is asking for…Oh no…not tre’s head…They’ve been asking for his head for a couple of seasons now regarding certain UFA pick ups…who cares.

  • MOlson

    Lucic was 7th in hits last year, 2nd the year before, he’s missed a total of 7 games in the last 6 years!!! The guys an absolute tank and there is zero evidence the physical aspect of his game is slowing down. The Flames are exponentially better because of this trade. I can’t wait for him to punch Evander Kane right in the nose, haha. I also think he will thrive offensively with Derrick Ryan as his center.

      • MOlson

        Thrive offensively is relative; was just thinking Lucic is a significant upgrade offensively to Hathaway who benefited a lot scoring wise from playing with Ryan and Mangiapane.

    • Skylardog

      The NHL is no longer a place for a punishing hitter like Luc. How did all those hits work out for the Oilers last season. With Luc and Talbot, we are taking the worst part of a very bad Oilers team. And you expect us to be better? That’s insanity.

      • Beer League Coach

        Flames were 28 points better than Coilers last year. Lucic and Talbot were not the reason Coilers were so far behind. After McJesus and Drysaddle, Coilers had no one that would make Flames a better team. Look at the former Flames that are on Coilers roster. Russell and Chaisson couldn’t even make the Flames last season. If they were still on Flames list they would have been among the first cuts from training camp yet they were two of the stars on the Coilers roster. And what did Chaisson do when he wasn’t playing with McD?

      • HOCKEY83

        the NHL is absolutely a place for punishing hitters who will make nhl stars think twice about picking up the puck. If you truly believe that rather than just saying it to see people’s reactions to it than you don’t know as much as I thought you did. Lucic was playing on a team with zero depth over the last 2 seasons. The flames are leaps and bounds ahead of the oilers in offensive depth.

      • Luter 1

        You must have turned off the playoffs after our creampuffs went out in 5 because the hitting continued throughout the playoffs. Most physical team on a nightly basis was ……. the Blues! Fighting may be taboo but hitting is definitely still part of the game unless you have been tuning in to the ladies games.

  • CowboyBob

    These are the types of trades that usually make the beginning of the end for a GM with a team. Ownership and senior management might want to start vetting all trades so as to ensure there are no more desperation moves. On the bright side the “slowest skater on the team” competition just got real interesting, MT or Lucic???