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.

  • Chucky2

    I am going to feel like OTW because the only way this works for me is as some type of story, horror this time.
    Yesterday I am sitting in the clubhouse after golf and a guy says that the Flames are trading Neal for Lucic. Of course I think the guy has had a few too many. However in the interest of civility I do not advise him that he is totally off his gourd and needs to sober up before driving home.
    Much to my surprise upon arriving back at the Chuckydome I discover that this guy actually had the story straight. Having had a few minutes on the way home to consider the possibility of the aforementioned exchange it felt like a comment was in order. Oddly I was signed out of Flames Nation so entered my user name and password.
    It was then that the horror occurred, I was not able to sign into Flames Nation as Chucky however I was transported to Oiler Nation and signed in. While hate is too strong a word, I feel personally insulted by being associated with any team from north of Red Deer. Furthermore I don’t remember having any great connection to Neal, I did urge patience early last season but at no time did I fully endorse him.
    As commentor, I think that there should be some sort no trade agreement that would pprevent any of us from being forcible sent to the Oilers.
    Anyway faced with continued membership in Oilers Nation today I have risen again as Chucky 2.

        • TheDallyLama

          Haha that’s too funny… I wonder if there was so many people commenting at once that it crashed the site?i restarted my phone at work 3 times, thought it was me. Chucky2 is a good replacement handle for Chucky lol

    • blobbo

      I know how you feel. I got tossed off ON straight into FN.

      Since I’m here, I may as well tell you what I think. You got the wrong guy. Treliving gained $500,000.00 but he still needs to do a lot of dancing. He should have kept dancing until he made room for Patty Maroon, the guy who took Lucic’s job away from him.

    • Derian Hatcher

      Not nearly the same magnitude, but story reminded me of when I head about the Gretzky trade. I was having lunch in Disneyworld and the guy at the next table was talking about it I told him that the Oilers would never trade 99….enjoyed the rides all afternoon but almost fainted when I got back to the hotel. Very, very, very bad day. Ruined my vacay.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    At the end of day we got tougher, got rid of uninspired player and saved some cash. Everyone agrees both players are way over paid but we got rid of Neil. Sounds like Neil wasn’t a team guy, always traded or let go. Flames won this trade.

    • buts

      Totally agree Jimmy. Every flame just grew and inch and added 10lbs as well the liberties taken on our top players are going to stop. His presence is a deterrent badly needed. He’s the toughest guy in the league.

      • flames2015

        Lucic played with Mcdavid, and people were still beating up on McDavid. Quite frankly to me, Lucic no longer has that fear factor. Johnny’s not all of a sudden going to play like he’s 6’2 and 200lb cause Lucic is on the bench.

    • With Respect

      Flames might have won in the player exchange but lost big in the contract exchange. Looched buyout would only save 500,000 against the cap and he has to be protected for the expansion draft. I love Looches toughness but the game has passed him bye he is unbelievably slow. Difficult to protect your teammates playing 10 minutes on the fourth line.

    • Flaming moe

      Is this where we talk ourselves into believing the rest of the league is wrong about who won and lost this trade? Lol So growing an inch is worth $6 million per year? And really which guys grew an inch? You really believe a guy that gets 8 mins a night is going to result in Sean Monohan turning into cam Neely? Or Jankowski is going to start running guys? Cmon let’s be realistic here. Lucic is not good in the dressing room that much is known.

      • TheDallyLama

        It’s 5.25 million… I been seeing your sh!tty comments all day, and you keep saying 6 million. That’s a big difference. You’re entitled to your opinion but I don’t have to like it. Guy hasn’t even played one game in red and white and you act like an Oiler troll calling him down. Give it a chance. You don’t know the future so don’t act like you do. 🔥

        • Flaming moe

          No but I have common sense and also there is there is the ability to google his stats. Do you not remember the last 3 years everyone on here laughing there asses off at lucic and that contract? He had 24 points and then 14 points and only missed 3 games in those 2 seasons. That’s not a slump. That’s trending towards retirement or Europe. His prime was from 2007-2011. Its 2019 and Tre thinks this is his prime? And with 4 years left and no possible chance at a buyout!!! And he takes a spot away from a young talented core player in the expansion draft. Cause the game is getting slower and tougher right tre? … 🤥🙄

          • TheDallyLama

            Ya but that was in a non hospitable environment.. maybe we can provide him with a better environment to succeed in… nobodies expecting the lucic from 07-11 which I happen to agree with… and I realize his stats and I realize what the league is Saying, no they ain’t pretty.. but in a post I wrote earlier, I explained would u rather have lucic bringing something tangible in a physical tough deterrent type element or would u rather us have kept the not so real deal and got another year of 6 goals for his 5.75 cap hit? We weren’t getting out from Neals contract and he was bringing nothing to the table in his performance, and I don’t know this for fact because Im just a lowly fan but I assume his team mates were fed up with him… that’s why I say let him have a few games at least before writing him off

          • HOCKEY83

            You are wrong on his point totals over 3 years
            First season 50 points and played 17:10 per night
            Second season 34 points
            Third season 20 points 4 less minutes per night than the first season.

          • Albertabeef

            @CalgaryFan I don’t know how much the owners hate buyouts. Since Tre arrived we have bought out Bouma, Raymond, Brouwer, and that kid that came in the Lack trade I think it was. We could also see one of Frolik or Stone bought out as well sometime this summer.

      • HOCKEY83

        Why are you using guys that are big enough to take care of themselves as examples?
        Saying someone is not good in the dressing room is just a loser Oiler troll tactic that makes them feel better about all the horrible trades they’ve made in recent years.

    • blobbo

      One thing you guys might be missing: The Oilers are subsidizing Lucic’s salary. Treliving can add his own subsidy to make him easier to trade. It isn’t a great option but it could taste better than a buyout.

      • The Red Knight

        Exactly Flames could trade lucic in another deal retaining more salary , would another team take lucic at 4.5 mill , I think if teams will pay reaves 3 mill it’s a definite possibility,but I’m intrigued by the trade and this is what we may need ,a tough sob , basically Neal just became a 6.2 million dollar player and Hathaway at 1.5 ,would you say Lucic replaces both those players,and at 5.2 mill , Maybe Aline of Monahan,TKACHUK,Lucic would work as there not overly fast players,they could skate with each other .

    • pennerm

      Hm…interesting article:

      “It’s also hard to make sense of Lucic’s season based on his counts: by all measures he was doing his job, getting to high danger areas and creating chances but for whatever reason he just couldn’t finish regularly. He started a lot in the defensive zone, but rarely got pinned in his own end, never put his goalie in a bad situation and actually pushed the puck up the ice, but a relatively low personal and a criminally low on-ice shooting percentage yielded next to zero goals”

  • MDG1600

    I have a bad feeling this is going to look like a really bad deal when the Seattle expansion draft rolls around. Tre and the Flames would have been far better off simply buying out Neal. I don’t even want to think about who Calgary loses in the expansion draft because they have to protect a plowhorse like Lucic.

    • The Red Knight

      Remember FLAMES can always retain more salary and have Seattle take lucic at 4.5 mill or something similar, then we’d get that 3rd round for free and rid of Neal , remember how Vegas went after Englend for some tough presence, after Vegas there may be more appeal for players to want to go to an exspansion team . More chance of being the top dog on the team . But I’m liking this trade , lots complained about Trevling not adding size and toughness and said Neal was in movable,well he may have just pulled off a sweet move here , can’t wait to find out , this is a fun trade , hmmm Bennett and Lucic and TKACHUK line could be menacing! And what’s a 3rd rounder worth ? Does anyone know what the stipulations on that 3rd rounder are?

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    So I heard about the trade flying back from Toronto to Edmonton. However, due to inclement weather we could not land and had to wait for the storm to pass. Eventually we could not hold off landing as we were running out of fuel so were forced to make an emergency stop in Calgary…to re-fuel. Sounds a lot like the Lucic trade…can’t land in Edmonton so emergency stop in Calgary to refuel his career.

    Now like most of you I don’t love the trade. I asked for toughness but wanted toughness that could play top six and score. I find it funny that people are talking about Neal living and training with Guru Gary Roberts. Neal can come to camp in the best shape of his life but how is that going to help him not handle the puck like grenade or find a winning attitude. Losing a player that was not in the starting line up due to being a healthy scratch in the final playoff game is not a significant loss. Tre strikes me like someone that views character at a premium and likely did not like the parting words by Neal in the exit interview.

    My hope is that Lucic looks at this as a second chance and drops some weight like Iggy did in favour of improved explosiveness. Let’s hop the storms have passed.

  • PlayitagainSam

    The biggest thing about this deal is the buyout. Calgary could have bought Neal out and would have been ok. This contract of Lucic’ is iron clad and good luck trying to buy him out. Unless Treleving gets as smart as Holland Calgary is stuck with him.
    Treleving just got schooled ,old school!

        • Kevin R

          GM’s dont usually go in & ask the owner to write that kind of cheque after the first year of a 5 year deal.
          Situation between Neal & Peters was toxic, Neal had to go, buyout was not an option. Trades were pretty limited for Neal without adding a huge asset.

    • dewtel

      There is a lot of misinformation on this deal, both from the media and even fans on this site. The “haters” of course think this trade is a disaster.
      1) NMC players can be bought out subject to same rules as everyone else.
      2) Buyout can occur just before Seattle expansion, therefore free agent = no need to protect
      3) Lucic contract is not “iron clad buy out proof”. According to cap friendly after 2 more years, Lucic’s buyout cap cost to Calgary is less than Neil’s. (its just high for the first 2 years then almost nothing the last 2 years versus Neils 4 straight years of $1.916m per year). Do the math, 2/3rd in both cases, the bonus affects the timing only per year only.

      Sure, Neal’s signing clearly was a mistake, but better to do something about it than to let the smell linger.

      Ps Cash savings to the club are awesome, $9m over 4 years if no buyout ( also for you Edm fans, the will pay $28 m, Flames only pay $14m. So we do lose, but Edmonton loses twice as much, no buyout.

      • DJ_44

        That’s not what most point to as the objective of a buyout, and hence the reason for the expression “buyout proof”.

        Most teams buyout players for cap space relief. Due to how Lucic’s contract was structured, both in front loading and signing bonuses, little cap relief is gained form a buyout ( relief per year $2.3M , 0.4M, 1.8M and 0.4), with Neal, you save $3.8M across the board, albeit you pay and extra million in cap for the extended period.

    • mrroonie

      Compared to Neal’s, a Lucic buyout is only worse for the remaining contract years but way better in the additional buyout years.

      One thing people forget about the Lucic contract is that his base salary was heavily front loaded. Using a 2020 buyout, Lucic would only have $4.5M in base salary remaining of the original $19M with, at age 32, the buyout being for 2/3 of that or $3M. This is the amount that gets spread out over the 6 years and works out to $500K/year. His signing bonuses for each of the 3 years that would be remaining on the contract make those years expensive but in the last 3 years of the buyout his cap hit for the Flames, after taking off the Oilers’ 12.5%, would be $437.5K. Neal’s last 3 years of a 2020 buyout would be just over $1.9M per.

      It’s short-term pain for long-term gain.

  • Off the wall

    I took Mrs Otw to see musical theatre yesterday. The title of the musical was, “Mama Mia”.
    It was her belated birthday present. So, I am romantic.. sort of.

    Upon returning to our hotel, I read about the trade. First thing that came to mind was.. Mama Mia, here we go again…though I think it came out in different vernacular.

    Good thing I couldn’t log on last night, cuz I was overwhelmed with less than positive thoughts.

    What I’m still trying to understand, and perhaps I’ve interpreted this wrong, is that we’re not guaranteed a 3rd round pick. Now, I’m not that clever, however if you’re going to make a trade like this, shouldn’t Treliving received a guarantee for a pick? A 2nd round pick if Neal meets the criteria, a 3rd round pick guaranteed no matter what the outcome?

    I mean after all, Treliving did accept Lucic’s NMC! That’s the only thing that bothers me. Not that he honoured it, but didn’t get compensation for that.
    $500, 000 isn’t compensation. It’s a token.

    Both teams got players who didn’t fit with their organization. I get that. Lucic may not be exactly what we were all hoping for ( was anyone?) but he’s a Calgary Flame now. So welcome aboard Lucic.

    We have a bona fide face puncher, which is good news, cuz I really wouldn’t want to see Hamonic wearing another face guard this season. I think Lucic can handle Eriksson quite nicely.

    Part of me, believes this was Peters’ induced, the other, Neal and his desire to move on from the Flames. I don’t know what transpired behind closed doors, however I wanna believe it’s because both parties decided it was best. I’m ok with that.

    Oiler’s Nation is loving this apparent one -sided trade. But we ALL witnessed Mr Neal not playing with any intensity during the entire season and eventually culminating with bench time in the playoffs. I think we should all consider this, prior to making any unreasonable comments about the trade partners. Even if we’re rivals.

    Let Oilers Nation be happy. This is their biggest accomplishment so far this year. And hopefully we watch Lucic get all pumped up for the BOA, while giving Kassian a nice little face wash for good measure.

    Perhaps then we can sing, “Mama Mia, here we go again” with glee.
    I still can’t get that silly song outta my head!

    • Chucky2

      Taking a trip across the Malahat can be terrifying for Victoria guys so you were brave to make it all the way to Chamainus.

      After a lot of reflection particularly including the game 5 scratch it is pretty easy to conclude that the Flames gave up nothing of value in this trade. Neal was going to sit on the bench or in the press box most of the season probably because of a bad attitude. If Lucic makes a positive contribution then it was a good trade. If he has no impact then it was an OK trade. If he is a negative influence then it was a bad trade. I doubt that he is a bad influence because Iggy would not have been helpful if Lucic is toxic so the only way he hurts is to take a bunch of penalties that cost games.

      • Off the wall

        You should really stay away from the Clubhouse Chucky. News like what we received yesterday, is never going to be good in a drinking environment.

        But I agree, it’s done, now we just have to work with it. I heard Lucic is going to wear #17.
        Wasn’t Boom -Boom Bouma the last one to wear that number?

        I can hear the boards crashing already! 🤪

    • FlamesFan27

      Okay, let me understand. You returned back to the hotel and you took time to “learn about the trade”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t get to a hotel very often with my wife and I’m certainly not checking hockey news haha!

      • The GREAT WW

        BT must have called 29 other teams before making a trade with the Oilers…that’s how bad Neal is perceived around the league.
        BT definitely had to plug his nose while signing this trade.

        But if you had told me a month ago that we traded that useless arrogant lazy piece of …… for another player and we would be saving cap I would jump at it!

        So happy Neal is gone!!!!


        • Off the wall

          Or perhaps Treliving called one GM trying to trade Neal and 28 other GM’s phoned Treliving telling him not to bother?

          Last GM to phone is Holland.
          “Hey Brad it’s your buddy up north, have I got a deal for you!”

        • HAL MacInnis

          I’m glad Neal is gone too.

          To be honest, I’m okay with this trade. It’s not the most ideal situation, but if you ignore the dollars, conditions, NMC’s, etc. and just look at the two players… I’d rather have Lucic than Neal any day of the week.

  • The GREAT WW

    This may be a dumb question; but why doesn’t BT say to Lucic before the expansion draft;

    “Either you drop the NMC or we are going to buy you out…”

    His contract may be buy out proof now, but is it in 2 years?

    Interesting; his name is also BOOO proof….



    • mrroonie

      A 2021 buyout would have nasty cap hits in the 2 remaining contract years ($3.5M and $4.9M) because of signing bonuses, but would be just over $500K for the 2 extra years.

      • The Iggy complex

        Hey if he is not the gm her did good job. Turned the flames into a contender. Definitely blessed when you look up north and see how horrendous Oilers have been for 14 years with all those top picks too

        • SgtRoadBlock

          who cares about the Oilstains .. should be only worry about 2 things this season will we enter the playoffs on a hot streak or a cold one.. and have 2 healthy goaltenders… last year we enter cold and with only 1 goaltender healthy..

        • LannyMac

          When are you people going to stop comparing yourselves to the worst run team in the NHL. What does that prove that there is a possibility that Calgary is the second worst run team in the N good grief.

  • Franko J

    Totally inept missed management of the roster on the part of Brad Treliving.
    Tries to trade away an erroneous mistake on his part with another player who does not add anything valuable to the roster. If anything he continues to strap his ability to build a quality team with unnecessary bloated contracts to players who are well past their prime.
    Earlier when free agency started there was discussion of Flames kicking tires on Maroon, so glad they passed on him, however with yesterday’s trade is clear indication both sides were clearly done with each other and left little to no options left for Treliving. The only option was Lucic.

  • Trevy

    The thing I hate most about the negative comments from both Oiler and Flames fans, is that they become judge and jury without either of these players playing a single game with their new respective teams. Did anyone read the interviews of the players themselves where Lucic said it was hard to play game in and game out on a team that was already out of the playoffs. Or how many present and former Flames players rave about his character on and off the ice, not to mention all the other intangibles he brings. Yes if he makes everyone play 6” taller and heavier and they all end up producing more because of him, that’s a win in itself. If he can also chip in some offense himself, that’s a bonus too. Bottom line is Neal was on a winning team and played like crap, looked like crap and didn’t care. Lucic will do whatever it takes and now that he’s on a winning team and has friends endorsing him on the Flames oastcand present, you know he’s going to come out guns blazing. His cap is only $5.25 and do what if he can’t be bought out. He can still waive his NMC for expansion and probably will because Seattle would never take him anyways. Neal is a one dimensional player that can only score goals and basically threw the Flames under the bus in an interview that he sited as saying it’s going to be nice to play with players that can pass the puck. Screw him! Being in the Oilers is only going to make him worse and I guarantee they will be buying him out by year two, which will not come cheap as he’s tacking in an additional $750k. I don’t mind this trade at all. It was a bad contract for a bad contract. BOA just got better and if a Lucic could clean Kassians clock in the process, it’ll all have been worth it! Rant over, going to pour another drink, cheers

    • HAL MacInnis

      Neal is definitely the guy with more pressure on him. I’ll be happy if Lucic sticks to a simple game plan (doesn’t become a liability), lays some guys out on the ice and cleans a few clocks. I think Milan can handle that. Neal’s winning ways rely completely on other’s doing the heavy lifting… and there’s only so much patience out there for guys who like to ride coattails. Just saying.

      • everton fc

        I hope Lucic nails Neal, on a clean, open-ice hit. And I agree with your comment – Neal’s not a playmaker. He needs guys to set him up. Nothing necessarily wrong w/that, but he may indeed be a one-dimensional player who wants it handed to him on a silver platter.

    • everton fc

      Bravo! Great comment! One of the best I’ve read in a while.

      You never hear about Neal the “good guy off the ice”. You do – often – about Lucic. He was stuck in a sess pool, like McDavid, and others. Holland was the right choice for the Oilers (I am one Flames fan who doesn’t, and never has hated the Oilers. I lived in Sherwood Park when they went on the run that ended up losing to the ‘Canes in the Cup Final. It was as awesome and experience as our run down here, which I also experienced, first-hand. They are good fans, up north – it’s their owner/and organization, that kills them)

      Back to Neal for Lucic. I like it. Like I said earlier in this thread, some writer up north actually said Lucic isn’t as painfully slow as often reported. We shall see. I see Lucic going double-figures, goal-wise. Neal was never a Flame – he was a Flame in contract, only. Lucic will embrace Flaming C, on his jersey, and “giver”, for the fans and teammates, alike.

      GO FLAMES!!

      • The Red Knight

        I got a feeling Lucic is gonna become a fan favourite, I thought we totally missed out on Lucic and got Brouwer instead ,funny how he ended up here anyway , I’m stoked , and Neal gone this feels like a Win win . Maybe even give Lucic an “A ” and give him the chance to lead .

  • Derian Hatcher

    Ok boys (and girls). You ever date someone where all the signals were there that it wasn’t going to workout but you stuck with her for whatever reason (usually one reason 🙂 ) eventually she said to you “welcome to dumpsville….population you” and you were single for about 4 days until you met another, who was exactly like the 4 day ex but you hoped it would workout this time ? I think that’s where we all are. You hoping looch can help your club be better and we hoping Neal can regain his scoring touch.

    There is no use speaking bad about our ex’s. It was our own doing all along.

    I hope all of my fav FN commenters are having a wonderful summer.

    • Off the wall

      Ah, Derian there you are my friend. I was wondering when we would hear some wisdom from our neighbors?

      Seems like we’re all in a bit of a pickle over this. I like the girlfriend analogy, though I could never find another girl in 4 days.
      You must be a stud. Or I was really crappy at finding another woman that easy? My guess, is probably both…

      Regardless, it’s a hockey deal .
      I hope both do well for their respective teams. Although I still wanna see Lucic give Smith another face wash, just for old time sake. Am I bad? 😁

      I hope you’re having a great summer as well. Can’t wait for September- October though.
      That’s when we can forget about the trades, speculations, etc and finally enjoy some good ole’ Canadian tradition, like hockey…

      • Derian Hatcher

        Hey OTW. I really like Looch. He hasn’t had it easy professionallY or personally with his dad s tragedy. He just seems to be so stumped and frustrated that the puck skills he once had seem to be eroding. Must be a tough go when what you used to be able to do isn’t quite there anymore. Hoping he does well in YYC. He tries hard and his contract is not his fault (though it is his problem). I watched Neal last year and I have to say that I hope his give a crap meter goes up significantly or he ll be a disappointment. If he can regain his scoring touch, it,would be a big deal for the Oilers Anyhoo, much more golf to play until training camp 😀

  • Widemans Anger

    How is it FN is already trying to figure out how unload this contract? What happen to playing the game of hockey? I think this a great trade for both teams and for both players. What I like most about the flames gaining specifically with Lucic is they get a big, physical, able to fight, chip in once in while, space creating, Stanley cup champion, DEFENSIVELY sound forward. All of the above James Neal is not. James Neal is one dimensional and when he is not scoring he is a non factor. Lucic has more around hockey attributes including leadership. Everyone is forgetting that Lucic has 10 times the defensive ability Neal has, check the stats. With Lucic on the ice he can impact any game at anytime with both defensive and some offensive ability. Love this trade and can’t wait to get my Lucic jersey!

    Just what the flames lack some toughness! Love it, we are better team today then a couple days ago!


      • SgtRoadBlock

        lol have you seen this goon play in the last 2 seasons ?? he skates very slow like Jagr slow at 45 this is not a joke, this guy has to wait for idle players so he can check them

        BT will not be the Gm when Seattle enters in 2 years, feel sorry for the new GM at that point to deal with this mess…

        • Widemans Anger

          BT is going to no where man, are you even watching the same team? I guess you didn’t read the comments above I stated about Lucic being more then a goon, I get it your just looking trolling… yes he’s not the fastest but when mcdavid is on the ice everyone looks slow…. FYI Seattle already has a GM and even if he retained say $1.5 salary in 2 years on a trade it’s still better then a buy out… you exactly like many of the masses and looking to unload the player without him even playing his first game, kinda knee jerk reaction… good thing your not our GM…

          • SgtRoadBlock

            yeah but some of us point this out when we sign Brouwer said it was bad, people here where like he good, said the same thing about Jagr and Neal and look at that all 3 gone….Soo i’m going to say this Goon in the same boat..

            lol i bet you one of them that think Backland a 2nd line center and after 11 seasons going on his 12th as a flames you have yet open you eyes his not..
            Dam even Janko could do the same on Pk and cost $4million less not like we in Caphell oh wait!!

  • HarveysFleaCollar

    James Neal is a one dimensional player. He is a goal scorer. He never found it in Calgary, he fell out of Grace’s with Bill Peter’s and his teammates. There was no coming back in Calgary. Elais Lindholm took his spot and ran with it. Milan Lucic has lost a few steps in his skating, but still possesses his biggest attribute, which is his toughness. He will gladly take a role on the fourth line and possibly the second PP unit with little to no pressure to score. Both teams got rid of someone whom was not working out and took a chance on someone who brings what they are lacking. Lucic is easier to succeed, if Neal explodes for 30+ looks bad. Time will tell

  • SgtRoadBlock

    lol we all on crazy pills?? 2 week ago we trashing this goon… now he on this roster and he the grit we need and his caphit fine for 8mins per game..

    poor Janko first 3 seasons in the NHL and you wingers r Brouwer, Neal and now thew Goon and people blame Janko for not doing much…

    • HOCKEY83

      Looch was trashed as much as Neal was trashed. Both deserve a trashing with their play over the last season campared to what they get paid. Yes looch is absolutely exactly the kind of grit the flames need. I’m betting Janks would love to skate with looch if that happens to be one of his line mates. Plus a guy janks size might learn a thing or 2 from looch

  • Jobu

    Neal quoted saying that it was “tough in Calgary”. Meanwhile, Flames end up first in the west.

    It couldn’t have been THAT tough, Jim. Cry Jobu a river.

    Can’t wait to see the Oilers faithful dig their unforgiving claws into you.

    Seriously. Who yells at his coach after the dogshirt effort he put forth?

    • Jobu

      He’ll be promised minutes with McJesus or Draisaitl, Tippett will realize that he can’t keep up and there are better options out there, and the whole drama will continue. Maybe this time he’ll be smart enough to keep his mouth shut and accept the facts.

  • The GREAT WW

    I for one am hoping that Rebar can get the best out of Lucic.

    I’m thinking JG and SM and Byng are happy there is someone to stand up for them.
    I’m also thinking Bennett and Hamonic are happy there is someone else to take on the heavyweights.

    Let’s see how this plays out…


  • The GREAT WW

    I heard that Lucic is training with Gary Roberts this off season;
    Expect Lucic to come into camp injured.
    That idiot has no idea how to train athletes…..


  • ItsADoubleDion

    Neal at 6.5 or lucic at 5.25 plus an early 3rd rounder. I’ll take a net front presence over a healthy scratch any day. Each team wins. Neal will get 30 goals with a -15 rating. Lucic will get 9 goals with an even rating. I’ll take lucic who waived his no trade clause to join a contender. Seattle is pointless we were gonna loose a great Dman either way. Welcome to calgs looch!!!!!

  • Flint

    Everyone wants to say “we won the trade!” but that doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is if the Flames are better or not. These are things that I think make us better with Lucic vs Neal.

    1. We have a sensible lineup spot for Lucic (bottom six) vs with Neal who is top 6 or useless. But on our team he’s not good enough to be top six. Those spots are filled by better, faster, more skilled players.
    2. Lucic is cheaper today, tomorrow and with B/O options. Lucic saves us money – 500k that can be a big chunk of Mangiapane’s contract. Lucic will be a flame for 2 years, then B/O or he waives. If bought out he costs: 3,5 then 4,8 then 500k, 500k. Neal would have cost 1,96 in those extra 2 years.

    3. Lucic is tough as they come, good in the room and will hopefully have a good relationship with the coach and team. Neal was none of those.

    Neal had no logical fit on our team, if he works out in EDM, fine, but he would never work here, no matter what shape he was in. Is Lucic going to be a useful 5,25mill player? Not a chance. But at least he’ll be useful. Neal with us would have been 5,75 toxic situation, dark cloud in and out of the pressbox.

  • Albertabeef

    Here let’s put this out there. I compared Bennett and Lucic’s stats from this past season:
    Bennett 71GP 13G 14A 27PTS -6 93Pim(5 majors) 115 S 11.3sh% 13:17AvgToi
    Lucic 79GP 6G 14A 20PTS -9 91Pim(3 majors) 74S 8.1sh% 13:14AvgToi

    How much leverage does this give Sam’s camp? If it goes to arbitration it could get scary.

      • Flint

        Most sensible to me would be:

        Just gotta get Janko to buy into using his size… and Peters to buy into that Frolik is actually quite good. Lindy and Chucky can swap as needed. Looch and Mangi as well for different looks. Czarnik and Dube fight for the 12th spot.

        No matter how poor of a points producer Lucic is, our lineup is so much more balanced with him vs Neal

    • Getpucksdeep

      None and not “scary”. Bit of a stretch for a comment there don’t you think? Bennett was credited with 121 hits and weighs in at about 190-195 lbs. Lucic was credited with 259 hits and weighs in at 235 lbs. Big age difference big physical play difference. Maybe let’s put it back.

      • Albertabeef

        Oh well I guess we should change the name of the game to Hits instead of hockey. How does a guy who only plays 13 minutes a game get 260+ hits and only 74 shots? Benny shot the puck 40 times more with the same ice time and 8 less games played. Some guys get so worried about hitting that they forget to play the game as well, like I used to say about Ferly playing with Johnny and Mony.

  • drogon

    Just read the news, I like the trade. It goes beyond the financials, there’s a locker room cleanup operation going on, Mike Smith, James Neal, …all distractions… next one on the list, Michael Frolik.
    Again, no buyout, we need to keep a lid on cash, we have a new arena to be built… exciting!

  • Herringchoker1971

    I’m really ok with this trade. Take the contracts and put them aside for a second because I feel this trade will ultimately end up a wash in the end. From a upside potential stand point……Neal should be the winner considering his fall from grace is only a year old. Lucic is on year number 2. Butttttttttttttttt…….You also have to take into account the teams. Edmonton has been a mental cluster f**k with some of the toughest fans next to Toronto for a decade. I think both players have a alot to prove. Both are slow and big. Both have has success. From a franchise perspective…..Neal will have the toughest time. He is going to have to play on a bad team with a management group that makes perplexing decisions. He will play in there top 6 but he better perform from the kiddy up or those fans will jump on him like flesh eating disease. He is already considered the savior. Louch will have an much easier time in Calgary because Flames fans will appreciate the physical game he can bring even if he doesn’t score. They are expecting a Hathaway replacement whose paid too much. Fans expectations will be much lower. All he has to do is relax and be Lucic. If he starts scoring again then he will become a god quite quickly. From my perspective, we needed some toughness with Hathaway leaving. He opens up the roster for Dube and Mangiapane especially when Frolik goes. He also allows Bennett and Tkachuk to play there game more freely. I like this trade as a Calgary fan.

    • Getpucksdeep

      As someone who never bashes players anyway that comment pretty much stole my thunder. In Edmonton players like these two are always “going to score bushels playing with McDavid”. The Lucic signing up there DID hail the guy as a major top line player. Lucic in Calgary comes knowing we have 4 good lines and he isn’t expected to carry anyone. Big difference in pressure. BTW we are just as guilty of applying that pressure on Neal but not to the same extent that Oiler fans get themselves twisted into knots over this stuff.