177Milan Lucic Mike Smith
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

A brief history of Battle of Alberta trades

For the past 39 years, the Calgary Flames have been engaged in the Battle of Alberta with their bitter rivals, the Edmonton Oilers. The two teams have played hundreds of times. They’ve engaged in dozens of fights. But until Friday’s trade, there had been more popes since 1980 than trades between the two rivals – now that tally is even.

Since 1980, five Oilers general managers and five Flames GMs didn’t conduct any trades with their rivals. Oilers GMs not trading include Glen Sather, Kevin Lowe, Peter Chiarelli and interim GM Keith Gretzky. Flames GMs not trading include Cliff Fletcher, Doug Risebrough, Al Coates, Craig Button and interim GM Brian Burke.

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Three Oilers GMs and three Flames GMs broke the seal, though. Here are the three trades they’ve made to date.

March 3, 2010: Calgary trades Aaron Johnson and a 2011 third round pick to Edmonton for Steve Staios

Looking to add some experience and grit for a playoff push, Flames GM Darryl Sutter did the unthinkable – he made a trade with Edmonton. (Edmonton’s GM at the time was Steve Tambellini.) Staios was alright for the team, but didn’t give them much of a boost. (Johnson and the pick didn’t fare much better for the Oilers.)

Staios missed most of the following season with injuries (and was fairly flat otherwise), eventually giving rise to the FlamesNation meme “Staios! Is! Available!” He left the team as a free agent in 2011 and we all vowed to put this silliness behind us.

November 8, 2013: Calgary trades Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit to Edmonton for Ladislav Smid and Olivier Roy

This trade made a bit more sense than the Staios swap. Looking for a veteran to help guide a rebuilding Flames squad, Jay Feaster sent tweener forward Horak and junior goalie Brossoit to Edmonton for Smid and Roy, a minor league goalie. (Edmonton’s GM at the time was Craig MacTavish.)

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Like Staios, Smid struggled with injuries and consistency and ended up riding out the final year of his contract on the long-term injured reserve list after a couple serious neck injuries. He landed in the Czech Republic as a free agent. Brossoit was easily the player who made it out of this swap looking the best, and he didn’t really get a foothold on a steady NHL gig until he became the backup in Winnipeg years later.

July 19, 2019: Calgary trades James Neal to Edmonton for Milan Lucic and a conditional 2020 third round pick

As with the prior two swaps, Brad Treliving’s trade with Edmonton was seeking to find a particular attribute or two. Staios was veteran grit. Smid was experience and leadership. Lucic is physicality, particularly with the departure of Garnet Hathaway. (The trade is functionally an acknowledgement that Ryan Lomberg might not be the heir apparent to that fourth line spot.)

The Staios trade was a declining team struggling to stay in the playoff hunt (and failing). The Smid trade was a rebuilding team trying to find a mentor for their youngsters. The Lucic trade is, at best, a team making a lateral trade with a rough contract and hoping to find a player who’s a better fit for the role that they have available. With the top six the Flames have, Neal wasn’t going to find his way back into that mix… and if he’s not scoring, you probably would rather have Milan Lucic manning the third or fourth line in limited minutes than Neal.

Time will tell if the third Battle of Alberta trade is as fruitful (or fruitless) for both sides as the previous two.

  • Off the wall

    There has to be another trade coming. We still don’t have enough pesos to sign our RFA’s.

    I think the Lucic trade might be a sign that Treliving’s got something else in the works and has a good idea what it’s going to take to sign Tkachuk.

    At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more dominoes fall into place.

    I don’t know what Treliving’s thoughts are, however I believe he wants some additional toughness in the lineup, especially after listening to his interviews.

    We’re not done. This is going to be a hell of a ride for the next few weeks!

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      After the missed Kadri trade, you have to assume that something similar is brewing. Gusev would be a nifty piece to add, but that’s not happening without a major restructing of money. Would require moving Frolik for nothing and buying out Stone. Janko and a 2nd for Gusev? Anyway, I think we are likely to see something like Brodie and Bennett (or Janko) moved for a top 6 C. Bennett is safe if he can play RW or be better than Janko there.

      The biggest issue other than cap is the number of LW’s we have versus RW. Too many guys that are slotted there because we don;t have natural RW’s. If Bennett could play RW, he could play top line or with Backlund. Even move to RW with Lucic and Janko. Would be better i he could become a 20 goal guy somewhere in the lineup.

  • Flamethrower

    Well for Neal, something has to be said for now he is on his 7th team in 11years!
    He is poison and personally I’m happy he has moved on to the coilers! Lmao!

    • oilcanboyd

      Yep. two guys who were spinning their wheels and not happy with their current teams got traded. A lateral move at best. Flames feel they have an improvement in what they are missing as do the oilers. We shall see what we shall see. Love that picture of Lucic in Smitty’s wheelhouse. Hope for a replay on Dec 27th in Deadmonton!

  • Kevwan

    As an Oiler fan I’m not sure what to make of Neal. Outside of vs the Oilers, I only saw the Flames play a couple of times. From years past I remember him as a goal scorer but from the comments on here it’s not promising.

    From what I’ve seen of Lucic I think the opinion of him on FN is upside down.

    HIts – His typical hit is in the offensive zone against the deepest Dman about 1/2 a second after the Dman moved the puck. Almost always Lucic takes himself out of the play leaving a 4 on 4 rush against with momentum. In the playoffs if he’s hitting Karlson, Schmidt, or Pietrangelo it might have an affect over 7 games but not really in regular season.

    Fighting- Lucic doesn’t fight much (only 2 fights last year). On several occasions Ryan Reeves, for example, has run around roughing up the Oilers smaller players. This has happened with many teams but Lucic does nothing. Sure having a top heavy weight on your bench can’t hurt but I’d temper your expectations on this aspect of his game. Dalton Prout brought just as much.

    Offense – This is where Lucic can improve. He came to the Oilers as Connor’s winger and became a deferential player. If you spend a year just giving the puck to your C and driving the net that fine when you’re playing with Connor. But when your center is Brodziak or Letestu. Peters needs to play him with speed, keep the game simple (forecheck) and I think Lucic offense has a rebound.

    Attitude – This is where Lucic shines. Lucic missed the playoffs 2 out of 3 years in Edmonton and saw his production fall through the floor. He has probably been the most maligned player in hockey the last 2 years. Unlike the Neals and Erikssons of the world he had no public spats with coaches or team mates. Lucic is a true pro with plenty of class and character – that matters.

    • deantheraven

      Great take, and much appreciated. I’ve been moving between two cities in Germany for the last- ever, and I only found out about the trade an hour ago. Been reading furiously oer here, getting insight from all the usual suspects. All of whom, like me, tend to see it from our side. I for one haven’y seen Lucic play much since he left Boston, or watched him on the bench or seen interviews, so it’s great to hear from somebody who has watched the new guy enough to know better what we’re getting. I can’t argue a single one of your points.
      As for what we’re losing, Neal isn’t a big loss.
      I can see the trade working for both players and their new teams, Neal might play better if he can stay with Connor and score like he had done before his disastrous season in Calgary. And Lucic could be a solid contributor that adds a physical element. I like it all around, except I’m still not sure what will happen with Expansion.

    • Budgie

      Half a second after the puck is moved? Not bad-he forced the D-man to pass-up skates Czarnik, or Jankowski, or Ryan, or Mangiapanne and they intercept-perfect-did you mean two seconds after? That would be a problem

      • Kevwan

        Half a second, 2 seconds, 6 seconds doesn’t matter -late is late. The biggest problem with Lucic and his lack of speed is his fore check game. He lost a 1/4 step and the league has gained 1/4 step since Milan’s fore checking heyday with the Bruins. If he’s still going to be first man in then he needs to get way faster (he has dropped weight this off season). More likely he will be a support player on the fore check. One of those young, fast guys that you mentioned should pressure the puck.

        What your describing is how the Oilers tried deploying him last year. Way to many empty, useless hits.

  • Phockey

    I don’t love the trade for Lucic but the thought of watching and waiting for Neal to do something to help the Flames for the next 4 seasons was not going to be fun either. I think there were a lot of Flames fans that were optimists and cheerleaders for Neals return to some sort of relaveance but the probability of that happening faded with every half assed shift he took. I think Neal made the Flames worse night to night. He clearly didn’t care or didn’t have the ability to show he cared what happened on the ice. I have always been a fan of Lucic with the exception of the last two years in the Onion. The business end of the deal is mostly a wash. It is a fresh start for Lucic, he will have a limited role with low expectations. I think he has already made every Flame taller, feistier and more confident without even hitting the ice. I don’t know if Neal has accepted his decline given the apparent attitude and lack of compete shown last season. Calgary scored 57 more goals than Edmonton last year. If Neal was going to get some luck going on the scoresheet it would have happened during that offensive surge. The odds of him making the trade look bad for Calgary are not good considering the North South speed game they are trying to establish in Edmonton and without any real roster change year over year. Neal scores 10 with 7 coming on the power play and is a minus player. Lucic gets 14 and adds loads of confidence to a team that desperately needs size and death stares.

    • The Beej

      Yeah I would agree with every word of that. When Neal was hurt the team didnt miss him at all and honestly having him in the lineup would be a distraction as he likely would not be happy on the fourth line. But 4th line is where he would have to go as he wasnt adding anything to Janko and Bennetts game.

      Lucic is at worst a lateral move but if you dig into the numbers Lucic is the superior player defensively and Neal is atrocius in that function. 35 give aways to 11 takeaways. Awful.

      This probably makes us a more rounded team:

      When Neal was hurt this team showed we dont need his offence. His game is one dimensional in that regard and I think he showed that if he isnt scoring he is actually hurting the team with his play.

      Lucic will bring a better defensive game and he is someone who is actually feared.

      Im still skeptical that Lucic in limited minutes will be a deterrent but if the going gets rough you can always give him the odd shift on the top line.

      Lucic has a lack of speed. But we all saw Neals lack of speed this year so we really dont lose any speed overall. Any scoring we lose out on should be balanced with a better defensive game.

      • Pizzaman

        Even if Lucic doesn’t get to his check quick enough he only has to yell “Booo” and defenders could make a mistake. I agree Neal is a huge negative if he cant score. I only hope he comes into the next dressing room with the right attitude.

      • Kevin R

        A few of us were talking about it today & I think Neal would have been forgiven for his terrible regular season if he showed up in the playoffs. He’s a big boy, all he needed to do was show some snarl, get a little rambunctious like Ferland did against Vancouver that year & Flames fans would have totally forgiven him. He didnt, all he did was go after Peters about his usage. Sadly for Oiler fans is they think they won the Lotto max because yes Lucic isnt a top 6 power forward anymore & I would say Neal is an upgrade over anything they currently have other than Drysaddle, McDavid & RNH.

      • Budgie

        With Hathaway gone Lucic fills a role and is better defensively-what about having Lucic stand in front of the net on the powerplay? I was surprised how few penalty minutes he takes-the better defensive game is a good point, he hits hard and clean. I think he can pressure the opposition to pass quickly, who cares if he is a bit slow coming back if he is able to put pressure on players who have the puck, a defense man is going to move the puck instead of getting hammered, could disrupt the oppositions transition

  • Squishin

    I hated this trade at first, and now I’m leaning more towards the positive. I mean, can Lucic actually be that much worse? Neal was awful! He’s a one-dimensional player whose one dimension failed through the whole season. At least the numbers show that Lucic knows how to play more of a two-way game, which is really what you need from the bottom six.
    I hated Neal’s attitude. I didn’t see any compete or any work ethic. Peters, of course, values both attributes very highly, and I’m not surprised there was tension there.

  • Off the wall

    You know it’s weird, however I have a great feeling about Lucic. Maybe it’s the beer talking (since I’ve had a few on today’s warm day) but I feel comfortable with the trade. Lucic, from everything I’ve read, is a character guy. He’s not going to drop the gloves just to fight. He’s a character leader, and that’s why he wore an A’ for the Oilers. He might not be what we initially envisioned for the Flames’ however the more I think about it the happier I am.

    That photo in the blog still bothers me. I remember it all too well. We had absolutely no one who was going to answer the scrum that ensued from Lucic and his lil’ “smack down” on Smith. I know truculence isn’t a popular notion among today’s NHL, but it inexplicably makes me feel better knowing that Lucic can pick his spots in providing what we lacked. Sheer intimidation and fear.

    I know I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of his 230 lb hit, nor meeting his fists in an altercation.

    I might be 5’6 but even I feel about 6’0 ft tall knowing he’s looking out for our players!

    Another beer and I’ll be 6’6…😉

    • Off the wall

      One other thing…
      I don’t know why we feel the need to bash Neal. If he’s training hard, I wish him the best. He’s had a few long seasons under his belt and conditioning is so important in today’s game.

      Personally, I want the 3rd round pick. I hope he has a great season with the Oilers, just not playing against us!

      • deantheraven

        My shentimentsh ezackly, OTW.
        It’s One am here.
        I wouldn’t be sad to see Neal break some personal records and if he can hang with Connor all summer and through next season and score say 25, I’d take the third.
        And I’m actually looking forward to seeing next season’s BOA even more.

  • Pizzaman

    (I too haven’t been able to log in or wade in.) When you are 3 hours up or down the QE2 no GM can do an “out of site out of mind” deal for a past mistake. However both GMs needed to pull this off. Clearly toughness was needed after the Flames playoff ker-splat. Savings of salary, cap space and conditional 3rd rounder are helpful but surely no one believes that BT would get anything better. Obviously Lucic knows he isn’t going to be in the top 6 and with a good attitude…this could work.
    Meanwhile Holland has to trade Looch or Chiarelli’s problem becomes his problem (ie: performance versus expectations). Taking Neal and telling him top 6 sounds like Groundhog Day for Neal again (plus Neal is thinking “I train really really hard with McDavid every day”). In the end for both players walking into a new dressing room gives them a chance to start over.

      • Skylardog

        Thank You. Bout time some one said that.

        We move out the slow players over the last few seasons, have some success, then revert back to the slow players again since BT got total control over decisions. Luc is a has been in today’s NHL.

        Not that Neal is much better. But I would take a properly used Neal over Luc any day of the week.

        Wake up and realize the problem that started this is Tre.
        Then realize that Peters made this worse.

        The GM and coach should be on the same wavelength. These two are showing they are not.

        • calgaryfan

          I don’t know about you but I was tired of watching Zadorov mugging the Flames and getting away with everything in that series. Sure the Flames were out played and Colorado was the better team, but the Flames need someone to deal with guys like him.

        • Budgie

          How can you argue with finishing 2nd. in the league last year?

          I recall Bennett and Hamonic trying to standup for our players-mixing it up and getting hurt doing so-Lucic has a presence and hits-259 hits last season and low penalty minutes-he will be useful, and we couldn’t find anyone else to take Neal anyways. Trev shopped around, Neal has good stats aside from last season and no one wanted him because they scout the games-everyone was curious why Neal skidded, they watched some games and decided they weren’t interested unless Calgary took on half his salary. (Guessing) or took on a portion of his salary, I think it is a pretty even up trade. Perhaps both players rebound or both stagnate-no harm done-Neal wasn’t going to play above 4th. line after last season. Calgary actually is a talented team without having top first round picks for 20 yr.s like Edmonton.

        • Toma41

          Skylardog. How do you use Neal properly? He scores goals and that’s it(used to score goals). He wanted top 6 time. He was lucky to get top 9. His “injury” in the latter half of the season was BS. He dient want to play. When Neal doesnt score, he is useless. Lucic will atleast throw some hits and is defensively responsible.

  • Beer League Coach

    Worst trade out of the 3 was the first one. Staios was a washed up and overpaid veteran who had nothing left to give to any team. Sutter traded a fringe D man and a 3rd round pick for him and tried to justify the trade saying he made it to bring veteran leadership to the Flames. At the time of that trade the Flames had the 2nd oldest team in the league. Only Detroit Red Wings were older.
    2nd trade was pretty much nothing for nothing. Horak chose to return to Europe rather than stay in Deadmunchuk. Broissoit did nothing until he ended up being a backup in Winnipeg. Roy finished the season in the ECHL and Smid was damaged goods for the duration of his time with Flames.
    Big winner in this 3rd trade is Lucic. He escapes from Deadmunchuk. Flames get some much needed muscle. Coilers have to hope and pray that Neal will somehow find a way to get interested in playing. Neal could be the biggest loser. He is condemned to live and play in Deadmunchuk. However, he got what he deserved after his year of non performance with Alberta’s best and most exciting team.

  • KootenayFlamesFan

    I love how Coilers fans think Neal is the difference between 27th place and winning the cup.

    I think this will turn out to be a great trade. Looch cant possibly be worse than neal was last year . . .

  • Camosack

    I think the feeling is mutual for Calgary fans. We’re weary of James Neal. Maybe we will be the same for Looch in a few months. Who knows…
    Anyway, it’s not Looch’s and Neal’s faults. It Treliving and Chiarelli (and now possibly Holland) who are the goats. No guts no glory; no risk no reward.

  • BendingCorners

    Gaudreau is one of the best playmakers in the league. If Neal couldn’t work with him, it’s unlikely he’ll work with McDavid. If he does, great, the Flames get and extra pick.
    The question I would ask Treliving, given the opportunity, is “What have you learned about your ability to evaluate players, noting that Brouwer and Neal both performed poorly on arrival and that Neal’s attitude showed why his two previous teams were willing to part with him?”.

    • HarveysFleaCollar

      You cant say it didnt work with Gaudreau..Neal was never given the promised opportunity to play with Johnny. Lindholm was gifted the spot and made Peter’s look like a genius.

      • Beer League Coach

        Neal was given first shot at playing with Johnnie in the pre season. He wasted no time in proving that he was not the guy to play with Johnnie. Lindholm got his chance and earned his position on RW with Johnnie and Monny.

        • Skylardog

          Gifted. Started there on opening night, and despite being brutal for the first 2 weeks, kept the spot.
          The remained there when the line fell apart in the last 31 games of the season.

          Anyone other than Lind would have been put on the third or fourth lines early on or after the Allstar break.

      • HarveysFleaCollar

        Hey..I’m all for Lucic and getting rid of Neal and his pouting…BUT…if anyone on here was promised big money, a corner office, company Mercedes, fridays off and 6 weeks vacation to go to a new company to only get there and be given the money, but given a cubicle, a smart car and 2 weeks vacation..I doubt youd be happy. Neal was over promised and under delivered. Was never put in a situation to succeed. Neal’s failure is on himself, but Bill Peter’s is to blame as well.

        • Such BS. You know who was 99.9% to blame for Neal not doing well? Neal. You seem to write that Neal has some responsibility for his crap effort but most of it comes from not being given a chance. When he was given the opportunity he didn’t show any effort whatsoever to fight off the perhaps bad puck luck or low shooting percentage. He just made excuses and dragged his ass all over the ice. I am really glad he is gone. I am not saying I am happy being saddled with Lucic. That is a whole other kettle of fish.

    • Albertabeef

      Neal’s attitude showed why his two previous teams were willing to part with him?”.
      Neal was picked up in an expansion draft and left Vegas via UFA. Vegas made him an offer, he thought Calgary gave him a better chance to win.

      • BendingCorners

        Vegas made him a shorter offer, figuring he would not remain good for multiple years.
        But yes, I may be reading backwards into prior years from his season with the Flames. Seems odd though that a good player has changed teams every third season (lately every season). Usually teams try to keep good players.

        • Albertabeef

          What can a guy do when he is in the last year of his contract and he gets taken in the expansion draft. Although they had a miracle year, he probably thought they couldn’t duplicate it.

  • TheWheeze

    It’s tough to go off on Treliving about Neal and Brouwer. They were coming off of seasons where they both did their jobs well. Tre had every reason to expect it to carry over to a new team. It didn’t. It happens. This stuff is hard to predict.

    • BendingCorners

      I expected Brouwer to do poorly and said so at the time. I did not expect Neal to, and would still not be surprised if he scored 15-20 goals next year. On the other hand, players decline in their 30’s and I think it’s reasonable to expect Treliving to avoid high risk bets on aging mid-level scorers.

      • Albertabeef

        I care. The sooner we can get him outta here the sooner we can find someone better to fix it. Find someone who knows how to put the pieces together, I truly don’t think Tre can. Summer is for being pissed at the GM, come Training camp and the start of the season it’s go flames go. Until then I get to vent my disapproval of our GM. We will see by new years what this team is. Right now my faith is low. Twice in a week I get this horrible news of oilers players on my Flames team. It’s super frustrating to me. I don’t cheer for all Canadian teams like some people do, only my Flames. Bringing in two Oilers who had horrible seasons has that feeling of being touched by someone you don’t want touching you. Like I was just getting used to the fact we ended up with Talbot, now this feels even worse. But I will wait for Oct 1st.

    • Albertabeef

      @theweeze It not Brouwer and Neal that has me bitter at Tre. It’s a little of those but a whole lot of other things as well. Trading with the Oil and letting them out of their cap hell of Lucic is just down right wrong. But I guess that’s our problem now.

      • TheWheeze

        Yeah, good point. I too am wondering, as of late, what Tre has going on in his mind. It does seem that desperation is behind some of his latest moves. Oh well, it’s cap hell. A GM’s true mettle will be tested by how he plans his way out of it.

  • The GREAT WW

    I love the Oiler story about: “Neal was traded to the Oilers because he told Treliving that he really wanted to be an Oiler”

    Neal has no trade protection; Treliving went to the highest bidder (in this case the only bidder….) the Oilers.

    It reminds me of when Sven Bearchi was traded to the Canucks.
    I said; why there?!
    That turned out ok…


    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      That seems to be a fabrication of epic proportions. Prior to the trade, he was tweeting about working hard to improve so he would be ready for the season. Felt he didn’t get enough in last year and really regretted it. Sounded like someone that was reminded about why he was dropped to the 3rd line. The only time he mentioned the Oilers was after the trade, said he watched McD growing up and kept tabs on his play.

      Oiler hacks turning that into him requesting a trade to the Oilers. Making Holland out to be pure genious after the off-season was called a failure by every media person. Pretty low bar to get over I guess. Sekera will be a stud in Dallas. Granlund was the only notable signing, unless you consider paying Chaisson 3x as much as his PTO salary.

      Hope the BoA is more spirited this year. Lucic giving Smith the gears. Kassian calling in sick. Tkachuk running amok. Connor not getting penalty shots for marginal penalties. Bennett and Nurse squaring off. Fun stuff.

      • Abagofpucks

        LOL must be happy pill time in Value Village, now looch will lead you to the promised land.
        We know Neal is just a gamble in the wind, but the real deal is we got rid of a really bad nmc bonus filled, fell off a cliff player, to free up cap space down the road.

    • Budgie

      Yes, Andersson was the pick—how about when Neuwendyke was traded and it ended up being for Iginla? I hope Neal scores 21 and Calgary gets a third round pick which will be like a late 2nd. round pick.

  • Looooooob

    We won the Western Conference with Neal as a boat anchor, we can do the same with a Lucic anchor. We are not relying on a bounce back season from Lucic, they are in Neal. Big difference. We will bury Lucic in the line-up like we did Neal.

  • Abagofpucks

    So Neal is good buddies with Conner and their training hard together, sounds good to me and gives me hope Neal can redeem himself with the oilers.
    And Neal also gets to reunite with Smith and they are also good friends, this has the makings of a comeback story of the year .

    All of or most of ON are singing the praises of Ken Hollend for throwing lucics boat anchor contract overboard right onto the good ship Value Village.
    I have to admit i’m skeptical of Neal making a comeback but ive been laughing my A$$ off all weekend over this deal and im happy about it.

    I’ll put up with Neal and i’m darn glad you have looch instead of us. This opens up a lot of possibilities For holland going forward AHHAHAHAHA .

    • Off the wall

      That’s nice. This is Flames Nation. If you want to talk hockey, we’re glad to oblige you.

      Gloating is silly, especially since we’re months away from actually playing a game.

      Can’t you be happy (bragging) somewhere else?

      • Kevin R

        Hey OTW! Have a true story for you.
        I have family members that volunteer at the Flames Charity golf tourney last Sept. When one of them saw Neal they asked him “You going to hit 30 goals with Johnny?” All he said was “40” with a big smile.

        His expectations were top line & I would imagine Tre got him to sign by giving him that carrot opportunity. We really didnt know what we had in Lindholm. When Lindy pushed him down off that line after Neal did diddly squat, they tried Neal with Backlund & Chucky. Frolik got demoted to the 4th line & that was the beginning of the Frolik agent sh!ght show. He couldnt even get his game with the 2nd line & was delegated to the 3rd line. If it wasnt for his injury, it could have been even worse. The guy was completely lost out there. Train all you want but holy cow, you better get it together on the ice. I think the frustration built up to the playoffs between him & Peters.

        So here is what I tell these gloating Oiler fans. Trades are supposed to benefit both teams or they would never happen. I am quite sure if Chiasson can get over 25 goals with McDavid so can Neal. Good for them, they actually have a more credible top 6 forward because they are desperately in need of one. If Neal hits that total, we get a 3rd from a lottery team, that is great! Neal would not have made our top 6 next year. Neal wasnt the reason we won the Pacific & were the first seed out of the West, we did that in spite of what Neal did.

        Neal was not making us better team next year. Lucic will. Lucic will be our answer to when the refs go brain dead & put away their whistles & players take liberties. We dont need Lucic to score a bunch a goals. Teams were literally mugging Tkachuk if he even went near the net & no one helped him. That changes & I dare say, I expect Tkachuk to be even a bigger pest & antagonist. If guys go after him or one of our other skilled guys, Peters will have them up against Lucic on the next faceoff. I am thrilled about this trade the more I think of it.

        So the question I ask all these Oiler clowns that are coming to gloat, why cant we have a trade where both teams accomplish moving players that needed to be moved & fill important needs each other were badly lacking? Why can people see this as a win win trade? I realize we are fierce rivals & want to think we just hammered each other in a trade. We didnt have the cap space to sign a Ferland or Trade picks & prospect for Reaves. But we managed to move a toxic contract & player in our dressing room & fill it with a need & actually gain $500K cap space immediately which will probably cover half of Magpie’s new deal.

        Thats my story :-> Enjoy this sunny Sunday!!!

        • The Iggy complex

          Kevin no point in telling Oilers fans that. They need this as an opportunity to try and feel better about their terrible team. They have lost every trade in the last five years. So finally a good hockey trade that Benifits both and of course they think it is a fleecing. Just wait. I’m due time they will be out of three playoffs again and complaining about how slow Neal is. It will be all good fault they didn’t make the playoffs like it was all reiders fault last year

        • The Iggy complex

          Haha while we have been sitting here laughing at three Oilers for 14 years. Oh yea poor flames fans trading away there biggest plug after a year they got 107 pts. You Oilers fans really have a hard time with the concept of hockey. Understandable though cheering for one of the worst franchises in hockey

          • Backcheck?

            Why only pick 14 seasons? Why not more? I always enjoy watching the arguments where sections of history are cherry picked to suit the argument. Are we talking worst franchises in the past 14 years or ever, I can’t tell. I agree they have been terribly run for many years, just not sure what timeline is wrapped around that part of the comment.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      If you believe rumors, Neal called out Smith (denied it later) for letting in crap goals. Try stopping the FN puck was what he was supposedly said. I don’t think there was much respect between the two. Good luck with Neal on a defensively suspect Oilers team. It’s not his game. He will be out there for more goals against than Draisaitl and Russell.

      Didn;t like the trade, but I don’t think this was a win for the Oilers. Lucic wears the goat horns for a team incapable of getting to the playoffs. He didn;t help, but neither did 19/23 of the roster. Holland is a god the same way Chia was a god after the Maroon trade. When Neal is the biggest change to a team finishing 6th last, then don’t expect Neal to erase the 50 goal differential the Oilers had.

    • Budgie

      Edmonton gave Lucic his 6 million which was ridiculous, set the bar high for all bottom 6 veteran’s salaries. Neal was signed for 5.75 million because of his 20 goals a year background, 2 million too much but that is RFA’s. Ken Holland and Trevling both had players no one else would touch at 6 million so a lateral move made sense. Calgary doesn’t need Neal and Edmonton doesn’t need Lucic. We have to wait and see if there is a winner and loser, see where Calgary ends up and where Edmonton ends up after the season. Calgary could have used Lucic during the playoffs last year, maybe the post season is where Lucic’s true value is.

    • Trevy

      Neal couldn’t crack our top six and barely made it to top nine, but is probably good enough for the Oil’s top line. Um, good luck with that. Lucic was even quoted as saying that it was hard to stay engaged knowing every game with the Oilers was basically meaningless cause they were already out of the playoffs so early, but excited to be joining a team that plays meaningful games. Based on that, Neal will surely be invisible with you guys

    • The Red Knight

      Your basically paying Neal 6.5 mill for the next 4 years , in that swap , We will see but I’d be surprised if Neal outscored Lucic next season. We will see how buddy buddy Neal and Connor are , causeConnorsreally gonna get mauled now , lol how’s the knee ?lol

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      You are going to love Neal. He is going to show you how to handle Connor’s silky passes…like a grenade while blaming Connor for his ineptitude. What is the over/under for healthy scratch.

      • Shameless Plugger

        You’re gonna love Lucic. Hits lots, usually about two seconds after the puck is gone and doesn’t affect any part of the play at all. You’re gonna love his inability to process the speed of the game now that the emphasis is on skill and speed, and not grinding and pounding in the corners. I thought we were getting the Boston Bruin version of Looch, yet we got a guy whose being passed by in the game. He doesn’t fight much anymore (2 last year I think) and hasn’t been effective for the better part of two seasons. Expectations of “protection” might be misguided and leave you disappointed.

  • Aquavid

    Time will tell who won the trade. But I think James Neal is an ineffective player if not playing in a top 6 role. It was apparent to me that there were too many players in Calgary that deserve top 6 minutes and James Neal was never going to reclaim those minutes. Moving forward, I think Lucic can play limited defensive minutes better than Neal. I also think the buyouts will come later for both players, and because Lucic’s contract was front loaded, Calgary ultimately wins the buy out.

  • Albertabeef

    March 3, 2010: Calgary trades Aaron Johnson and a 2011 third round pick to Edmonton for Steve Staios-On December 28, 2010, Sutter resigned as the general manager of the Flames.
    November 8, 2013: Calgary trades Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit to Edmonton for Ladislav Smid and Marc-Olivier Roy- On December 12, 2013, Feaster was relieved as general manager
    July 19, 2019: Calgary trades James Neal to Edmonton for Milan Lucic and a conditional 2020 third round pick-Treliving days are numbered.

  • PlayitagainSam

    The most important thing about this trade is that Neal can be bought out and Lucic can’t.
    Now all of you are now hypocrites because you think that Calgary won this deal?
    Calgary now has the worst contract in hockey. What a f’n Joke Treleving is. Just got schooled by Ken Holland!!

  • PlayitagainSam

    Humour … one month ago Keith Gretzky says “ How do we get Milan Lucic to fit into our top six? Holland replies “ trade him for James Neal!”😂😂
    Now Calgary has a $5.25 million player that can only do the job of a fourth liner.
    Could have had a guy like Prout do the same thing, and bought out Neal at the same time.
    Good job Treleving. Now Neal has a two or 3 real centres that can dish him the puck in McDavid , Draisaitl, and Nuge.
    Well played Ken Holland.

    • Loud_voices

      You say this is a bad trade for Calgary but Calgary was able to get rid of a poison who was good for the exact same amount of goals as Lucic was. They saved $500,000 in cap space and got a conditional 3rd round pick. Calgary can still buy out Lucic except now it will be cheaper for them to do so then it would have been to buy out Neal originally. If they choose to keep Lucic they get the #1 thing they lacked last year…. physicality. That’s a win, win, win. It’s already proven Neal was worthless to the team and it means literally nothing loosing him. All the pressure is now on Edmonton for Neal to turn around… If he doesn’t and produces at the same pace that he did in Calgary, it’s a major loss for Edmonton. Not only have they lost the draft pick, it will now cost them more to buy out Neal technically then it would have cost them to just buy out Lucic.
      If Neal doesn’t turn it around, this just stacks on top of the bad trade pile for Edmonton.

        • Loud_voices

          Because Edmonton retained $750,000 of Lucic salary making his AAV for the flames 5.25 compared to Neal’s 5.75, therefore saving more money on a buyout, not much but at a point when your pressed against the cap, every penny counts.

          • Carignan31

            it is not impossible to buyout Lucic but he essentially has a buyout proof contract. Yes the Oilers retained salary but the actual cap hit for buying each player out is completely different.

            James Neal Buyout would cost the Oilers 1.9m x 6 years (if they bought him out next summer)

            Lucic Buyout would cost the Flames
            Year 1 – $4.8m
            Year 2 – $3.5m
            Year 3 – $4.8m
            Years4-6 – $440k

            no one in their right mind would buyout Lucic next summer and have that much dead cap space for the next 3 years…

            so it is cheaper to buy out Neal then it is to buy out Lucic.

            next time you post something maybe do a little research

          • Loud_voices

            PlayitagainSam… Why is it impossible?
            As far as I know, because the flames have 1 or more arbitration filings they are still eligible to perform a buyout. Unless I’m missing something?
            And even if they waited a year they could give him a shot and if he doesn’t workout, buy him out at the end of next year during the buyout window.

  • drogon

    Looks like it might be more than a few tweaks. The next distraction, Frolik, should be out pretty soon. The thing is to bring Dubé & Mangiapane part of the top 9, it doesn’t look good for Jankowski. Having Lindholm & Dubé moved to the middle could be a nice upgrade. UFA’s are becoming cheaper by the day.

  • PlayitagainSam

    Loud voices … it’s the cost of buying him out. Neal is around 1.9 per year while Lucic would be over 5 ml per year. If someone cares to give the exact number go ahead!

    • Loud_voices

      I’m not 100% sure how you came to that conclusion.
      Both players being over 26 (but under 35) on the exact same length of contract only $250,000 apart would make their buyout almost even. Again… Unless I’m missing something?

      • PlayitagainSam

        The first 3 years of the Lucic buyout would be 4.8, 3.5, 4.8 million. Hardly a pill that Calgary would want to swallow. Neal’s buyout would be 1.92/year. A lot easier for Edmonton to swallow as opposed to paying Lucic 6 million per year. Thanks again Treleving.

        • Loud_voices

          True. I forgot Lucic had a bunch of signing bonuses and thats whats affecting the buyout. I just threw the contracts into a buyout calculator. I still think this is a good idea. Mainly because I would rather a player that will try hard and defend the team over a player who will just fall between the cracks and whine like a baby. Plus Calgary gives him a chance for a few years and buys him out in 2 or 3. They get penalized for 1 or 2 years and the last 3 are less than $500,000 where as Neal is 1.92 constant. Brodie, Frolik, and Stone all come off contracts next year (if they are not traded before then) I honestly think this trade is beneficial to both teams and both players will do better next year, not to mention the expansion draft will follow next season so that could also shake things up.