FlamesNation mailbag: the Milanbag

It’s a trade. No one (at least on this side of Red Deer) asked for it, and no one particularly wants it (especially on this side of Red Deer), but it’s something that happened after three weeks of nothing happening.

No, we shouldn’t consider that, mostly because this trade has no impact on the Flames’ expansion draft plans.

Let’s time travel back to Thursday when Lucic wasn’t in the Flames’ plans and Neal still was. We’re going to assume extensions happen for some RFAs, and we’re going to ignore goalies since they really don’t factor into the arithmetic. Here’s the list of players who are signed until 2021 that the Flames can protect, with some notes and caveats in the brackets:

Forwards: Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm, Neal (still part of the team in this hypothetical), Matthew Tkachuk (presumably signed past 2021), Derek Ryan (2021 UFA), Dillon Dube (2021 RFA), Andrew Mangiapane (presumably signed past 2021), Sam Bennett (maybe signed past 2021, depending on if he gets traded this season), Mark Jankowski (who knows  if he’s still with the team, but still RFA at the end of 2020 so it is possible), Matthew Phillips (2021 RFA), maybe at least one NHL vet they add between now and 2021

Defence: Mark Giordano, Noah Hanifin, Juuso Valimaki (RFA 2021), Rasmus Andersson (presumably extended beyond 2021), Oliver Kylington (presumably extended beyond 2021)

So let’s say the Flames go 7F-3D-1G. They’ll at least protect Gaudreau, Monahan, Lindholm, and Tkachuk, with the added luxury of protecting three other forwards. The issue is obviously in the defence, where they face exposing at least one, and maybe even two of their U25 defencemen. Even if they go bold and expose Giordano to protect as many youngsters as possible, they still have one exposed. They would lose a good defender in that scenario.

Let’s look at the alternate expansion draft scheme where they protect eight skaters and one goalie. This allows them to protect at least four of their defenders while leaving another exposed, so the problem is only half solved, kind of. But they’ll also expose way more forwards under the 8-1 format, as they can only protect Gaudreau, Monahan, Lindholm, and Tkachuk, running the risk of exposing and losing one of Dube, Mangiapane, or any of their other forwards.

Simply put, the Flames were bound to run into expansion draft issues with or without Lucic. No matter which protection option they choose, they’ll be exposing some big names for Seattle. I don’t want to project thoughts onto Flames management, but they likely also did these calculations, found out they were screwed anyways, and decided that they were comfortable adding Lucic’s NMC to an already messy future problem if it meant solving a more immediate problem.

That’s the ideal Lucic exit strategy: play him for a year, and then try and ship him off elsewhere. That’ll be tough, but it is still doable.

I wouldn’t look at Vancouver. The rumour was that they were interested in pawning off Loui Eriksson, another man with a buyout proof contract, for Lucic. Eriksson’s contract is slightly more expensive than Lucic’s right now ($6M versus $5.25M), but ends one year earlier and has an NTC instead of an NMC. The Flames still don’t gain anything from buying him out, but they can expose him to the expansion draft without his permission and it’s less painful to see his contract through to the end.

Ideally, you shed him completely without taking back bad money. The trade destination next offseason for that will be the Ottawa Senators. As of this writing, they have $26.9M committed to the cap for the 2020-21 season. They’ll need a lot of cap hits to even hit the cap floor, and they can’t send away Bobby Ryan to do so. If the Flames did what Edmonton did and waited until Lucic’s signing bonuses get paid, they’ll send Ottawa $5.25M in cap hits over the next three seasons, but with only $10M in actual money that needs to be paid during that time frame. It’s a trade that serves the purposes of both teams.

The kicker is Lucic’s NMC. He did waive it to help Edmonton out, but that was when the options included either heading to a Stanley Cup contender, or heading home to Vancouver. I don’t know if he’ll feel equally as generous to waive his only leverage if the destination is Ottawa.

Lucic is probably going to start on the fourth line. Not because they have nowhere else they can play him, but because he has actually been helpful as a fourth liner for Edmonton.

With the Oilers, Lucic put up a respectable 50.72% 5v5 CF% (+3.51% rel) with 44.78 OZS%. He was buried and made the most of it. Don’t take the numbers to mean that he’s a fancy stats diamond in the rough who will break out in Calgary, but just that he was a decent player on a below-average team. He was one of Edmonton’s better defensive forwards, finishing third in CA/60 among all forwards who played more than 200 5v5 minutes with 53.11 CA/60.

That 53.11 CA/60 would be ninth among Flames forwards, so don’t get too excited, but with managed minutes and better linemates (Derek Ryan > Kyle Brodziak), Lucic can probably be a reliable defensive option. Not a Selke contender, but a guy who just keeps things quiet in his own end. He likely won’t score points, but he’ll play defence, and that’s more than what Neal could do in those circumstances.

On that note, I really wouldn’t try Lucic on the power play or with any offensive roles. While his defensive metrics have remained positive, his offence has completely cratered. His most valuable offensive skill is being big, which was Troy Brouwer’s role on the infamous BrouwerPlay. The Flames can do better than him.

Well, you’re sacrificing Neal’s unrealized offensive potential for Lucic’s ability to play defence. Who knows if Neal would’ve scored 20 goals next season had he remained with the Flames, but management bet he couldn’t, and went for Lucic who could at least contribute positively in one area of the ice. In that sense, it improves the team somewhat, cutting losses at one particular facet and shoring up another one that was deficient.

It’s also at the margins of the team that it doesn’t really matter. Who really cares who the overpaid fourth line winger is? Here are some questions that the Flames need to answer that will be more meaningful to them next season: can they find a top six winger upgrade for when Michael Frolik inevitably gets traded? Will they upgrade their centre position? How will they handle the presumed departure of TJ Brodie? Will Andrew Mangiapane and Dillon Dube take those next steps? Will Cam Talbot be a suitable backup?

Although the names are big, the reality is that the Flames replaced one bottom six winger with another one. The only reason this trade is big is because of the money involved, and money doesn’t matter to the on-ice product.

I don’t think this is a standard trade where you can declare teams winners or losers based on value of players exchanged, mostly because nothing of value was exchanged. The teams essentially swapped bottom six wingers with different contract structures. Neither team was looking to fleece their opponents, they were looking to pass on their problems.

The Oilers shed the Lucic contract. In their perspective, they’ve already won regardless of what happens in the future. Neal could score 100 goals or three goals over the remainder of his contract and it wouldn’t matter because they moved out the albatross contract that they had extreme difficulty moving in the past. With Neal, they have a more tradeable contract with the additional bonus that they can actually buy this one out if it gets to that point. Anything else that happens after this trade is just gravy to them.

For the Flames, they were able to move their expensive headache without needing to sweeten the pot with an attractive future asset or take on additional cap hits. The thing that prevents it from being an immediate win on Calgary’s side is that they’ve taken back another expensive headache that may require sweetening the pot with an attractive future asset or taking on additional cap hits to move. Lucic may thrive in the roles that Neal couldn’t with the Flames, but he still has that awful contract that will gunk up the Flames’ cap situation until 2023. Until the Flames can move on from it, it’s not a great trade for the team.

If Flames get rid of Lucic next off-season scot free, they’ll have found an out from two of the NHL’s worst contracts without sacrificing much of consequence. If they can do that, it’s a win. If they’re forced to stick with the contract for a few more years, they’re losers.


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  • Young n Fresh

    CapFriendly.com Armchair-GM User-Generated Roster

    Tkachuk, Matthew 7 $7,000,000
    Bennett, Sam 2 $2,400,000
    Mangiapane, Andrew 2 $900,000
    Rittich, David 3 $3,300,000

    To CGY:
    2020 4th round pick (BOS)
    2021 2nd round pick (NJD)
    To NJD:
    Bennett, Sam

    FORWARDS (12)
    Right wing: Elias Lindholm ($4,850,000) – Michael Frolík ($4,300,000) – Dillon Dubé ($778,333) – Austin Czarnik ($1,250,000)
    Centre: Sean Monahan ($6,375,000) – Mikael Backlund ($5,350,000) – Derek Ryan ($3,125,000) – Mark Jankowski ($1,675,000)
    Left wing: Johnny Gaudreau ($6,750,000) – Matthew Tkachuk ($7,000,000) – Milan Lucic ($5,250,000) – Andrew Mangiapane ($900,000)

    DEFENSE (7)
    Right: Rasmus Andersson ($755,833) – Travis Hamonic ($3,857,143) – TJ Brodie ($4,650,400)
    Left: Mark Giordano ($6,750,000) – Noah Hanifin ($4,950,000) – Juuso Välimäki ($894,166)
    7th: Oliver Kylington ($730,833)

    David Rittich ($3,300,000) – Cam Talbot ($2,750,000)

    BUYOUTS (2)
    Troy Brouwer ($1,500,000) – Michael Stone ($1,166,667)

    Roster Size: 21
    Salary Cap: $81,500,000
    Cap Hit: $78,908,375
    Cap Space: $2,591,625

    • Baceda

      There’s absolutely zero good reasons to trade Bennett for a couple magic beans, he’s much more valuable to us than a couple mediocre draft picks. Sure we need cap space but selling Bennett is not worth it just to clear his presumed 2.5 million$ contract.
      For some reason you still have Frolik and Brodie on the roster even though it’s common belief that they will be moved to clear quite a bit of the space that we need.
      So in short, don’t trade Bennett for that very bad return, he’s valuable to us.
      (Also I think if you did trade Bennett he’d fetch much more than a 2nd and a fourth)

      • LannyMac

        @Baceda if you think the projected returns for Bennett are bad what until you see what Tre will have to give up to unload Frolik and next to nothing back to get rid of Brodie. It’s obvious there is nothing of significance has been presented to Gardiner. Gardiner and Brodie are similar dmen and nobody wants to offer up much in a trade or money for a defenceman that can be a real problem defensively. At this pt it is obvious Gardiner is looking at one to two years making far less than he made last year or he would have signed by now. Frolik will be offered an olive branch to come back and be given an honest crack at second line RW. Why because Tre will have to offer up a significant draft pick for a team to take him. Tre may be able to get something back for Brodie but the pick or player will be absolutely insignificant with little chance of ever making an impact now or in the future. I’m guessing Stone buyout and Brodie as 6th defenceman. Hope I’m wrong but all signs are pointing in that direction.

        • Baceda

          I’m fine with the return for Brodie and Frolik being mediocre, I think we need their cap space more than we need them as players.
          And I strongly disagree that we’re going to have to pay a team draft picks to take Frolik, he’s still a good player on a reasonable contract for only one more year, he could slide into many teams 2nd or 3rd lines and contribute. So he’s far from being a toxic contract that we will have to pay to get rid of.
          Obviously no ones banging down our door with big offers for him, but he’s worth a 3rd or 4th round pick to some teams, and I’d be fine with that return. I’d also fine to keep him and clear cap space elsewhere.

          • LannyMac

            Of course I have no proof but I’m guessing Tre has already offered up Frolik and retain a significant amount of his pay and there are no takers. There is no money out there and nobody is taking a 3rd in my opinion 4th line winger on a good team for 4.3. Not a chance. There is no money out there and so if one of the few teams out there is going to help Tre with his money crunch that team will be doing Calgary a favour. So you tell me who is in a better position during that phone call. More players out there dangling than money to cut them down. Not an economist but it doesn’t take genius to figure out supply and demand.

          • HOCKEY83

            Regardless of what the flames get back for any trade they make right now the new norm in the NHL with all the cap strapped teams is that they will have to give up players for less than what they are worth. It was obvious to anyone who understands cap and player salaries getting higher that this was coming. It’s only going to get worse over the next few years so much so that teams will be happy to be able to have a reason to get rid of a contract for nothing come X draft time.

        • HOCKEY83

          Brodie as 6th Dman…That’s the most laughable thing I’ve read here. Not one of the other D on the team proved or even came close to proving they are better than Brodie in the top 2 spot. If brodie doesn’t get traded he will be right back up top with GIO. More than any other tandem in the league they get scored on the least. 108 points between them +68 between them. Ya if brodie is still here he should be dropped to 6th Dman….funny

          • LannyMac

            Quick question Hockey 83. Can you tell me why Brodie was dropped to last pairing. Let me answer first. Because Raz is 100% ready to be a top defenceman? Kid looks good and held his own but could use some more time on third pairing to mature a little more. Cause Brodie was nursing injury? Possible but not that anyone mentioned. No 83 he was a third pairing dman more and more as the season went on because he regularly made absolute bonehead plays to a point where they had no choice but to try Raz up there and hope they could get by. A first pairing dman at 4.6 would get snapped up in a NY minute. And if he was all that the Flames would not be shopping him. Players become available for a reason.

          • HOCKEY83

            Ya in normal years Brodie would get snapped up but cap space is limiting most teams right now and brodie does have a NTC which would allow him to make a list of teams he does not want to go to which I’m sure are the teams that have cap space because they don’t have a good team.The flames are shopping him because he has a substantial amount of cap space that would be saved. It’s also been stated that Hamonic is getting shopped just as much. Both players would not be able to be resigned next season for what they would be looking for anyway. At least one has to go no matter what. If you think the flames are shopping Brodie because they think he’s washed up then you absolutely have no clue at all.

        • Porcupine at a balloon party

          You realize we had a trade for Kadri on table for Bennett? Say what you will about him, but he is legit second line centre on most teams. That’s value

    • Honkydonk

      Brodie and Frolik will not be with the flames at the start of trading camp guaranteed it ain’t happening.

      Brodie I would say is 95 percent leaving and Frolik with us trading Neal goes down to a 80 percent chance but I still feel it happens.

      Just a matter of time.

  • buts

    Christian…..a very well written, hit the nail on the head article. To add to your comments all I can say is I’m glad Neal is gone as with our group and coach he wasn’t going to help the team and we added badly, badly needed grit. I’m sick and tired of Jony getting slashed with no detterent on the roster. Also finally BT has done something to improve the team as Neal was a liability here. Smith and Neal in coil country……Bahhahahahaha.

    • Flaming moe

      Hold on second Buts.

      So let’s say Ryan Getzlaf, Tyler Seguin, Dustin Brown or any of the big named slashers of the league keep slashing Johnny. You think Lucic is going to try and fight those guys? Lol you think those guys are seriously going to square up with lucic?
      Lucic wont and can’t chase down non fighters anymore cause the league has already put him on notice after he chased Mathieu Joseph around the ice until he tackled him. Tell me how a guy on the 4th line who is twice the size of his opponents in a non fighting league protects Johnny?
      Is Milan going to fight all the 1st line players in the league that slash Johnny?

      One of the biggest quotes of this article that I took away scratching my head. “That’s the ideal Lucic exit strategy: play him for a year, and then try and ship him off elsewhere. That’ll be tough, but it is still doable.”

      So the strategy was to take on the worst nhl contact and then try and flip it after 1 season??????? Wth is going on here lol

      • HarveysFleaCollar

        If these guys wont square off with Lucic, he will take liberties on their smaller players. Lucic deters any extra stuff knowing you have to pay the toll. No different than Reaves.

        • Flaming moe

          So now your going to put Milan out there against the other teams top lines to go and scare there little guys? Other teams will love that. Either the puck ends up in calgarys net or the other team goes on the PP. Dont forget Ryan Reaves can still skate and play fast hockey.

          • Alcanivorax

            It’s not so much that Lucic has to go fight these “1st Liners” you refer to but that now our other players (Chucky, Benny, Hammy) can go take care of those players that take liberties on Gaudreau.

            They are backed up by Lucic to the extent that opposition tough guys (such as they are that are still left in this league) don’t go after Chucky, Benny, Hammy, for the fear of Lucic.

            The Oiler commentators have said Lucic has only had 2 fights in the last 2-3 years. But Nurse, Kassian, and Khaira have sure felt comfortable enough trying to engage.

            Now they don’t have the back up.

          • HarveysFleaCollar

            If need be, but it will not come to that just having Lucic on the bench. How many times have you seen someone take a run at McJesus or Leon the last 2 years? I cannot think of any..and if a guy like Getzlaf oversteps on a guy like Johnny, Lucic will just do what needs to be done to Getzlaf

        • Ken Holland

          Lucic will protect the smaller skilled players. No one will take liberties.

          I’ve watched every Oiler game over the past 3 seasons. The after whistle slashing and rough stuff was non existent after Lucic was signed. Before that Nuge, McDavid and the other skilled players were always getting hurt.

          That being said, I find it hilarious that Flames fans are all of a sudden pretending this guy does anything else. For years fans took digs at the Oilers and this contract. Now all of a sudden hes worth while, just because your GM traded for him in our desperation. Drink some more kool-aid.

      • buts

        In big league hockey, intimidation still works. Lucic doesn’t have to fight, the reputation and a few threatening words are sometimes all that’s needed. A big hit sends a message also. Look at Reaves in Vegas and what Byflugien brings……fighting is fazing out buts intimidation will always be there.

        • Kevin R

          Interesting Christian never touched on that aspect of what Lucic brings & Flames have totally lacked.

          Timmy Hunter was folklore around here because he was able to neutralize Semenko in a scrap when things got nasty. This league can really get nasty yet, not in fights but in dirty hits from behind & stickwork. Still need a deterrent on your team in this league.

          • Budgie

            Tim Hunter could play Defence in a pinch, unlike some heavyweights he was actually a good hockey player, that is why he is a coach now. Lucic isn’t a fighter but he hits and doesn’t cost you time on the penalty kill. I’d rather have Lucic on the third or fourth line than a struggling goal scorer who may or may not return to form. I would call it a pretty even trade, I hope Neal scores 21 and Lucic 10, then the third rounder comes into play-a draft pick might be the clincher to swing the trade in Calgary’s favour

      • Getpucksdeep

        You guys are all emphasizing “fighting”. 252 hits. Even Ferland didn’t come near that many bodychecks much less Hathaway. Lucic will keep other players heads up and nervous when he’s on the ice. Not nervous about a fight…nervous about being crushed.

        • Flint

          259 hits according to NHL.com (7th in the league). James Neal had 46. I saw at least 26 of those and those were mostly when he lost his balance and fell over.

          Lucic alone had more hits than Bennett (121) and Tkachuk (104) combined. And with all due respect to Benny and Chucky… I’d like to see the “NHL equivalency” on their hits compared to a Lucic hit. Milan isn’t his former self, but the dude is a brick sh#t house and he can hit.

          • Albertabeef

            That is the difference between playing hockey and playing goon. Benny and Chuky are functional with their hits, Lucic is a chicken with his head cut off.

      • The Iggy complex

        Regardless Neal is gonna play meaningless season hockey and no playoffs. Lucic will be playing meaningful season hockey and playoffs. Lucic is the winner

      • LannyMac

        Well said Flaming M it’s amazing to me I have been an advocate for a large body deterrent on the Flames and every time I would post that view I would get trashed. Now the overriding theme in the last few days is how great it is we have a tough guy on the roster. Lucic is not an NHL caliber player but he will play 80-90% of the games based on Tre’s incompetence with the Neal signing. Lucic cannot stop somebody from breaking Johnny’s finger but the culprit can be reminded by Lucic why he actually dresses for games. Whether the Culprit is large or small Lucic has to understand he dresses to threaten guys with a bloody face if the stars on his team are abused. If he doesn’t then you will 5.25 for absolutely nothing. If most guys bare witness to Lucic busting faces. Then yes players in the league will take notice. When called he has to hit or punch to injure then and only then can he become a deterrent. Talk is cheap and it scares no one at that level. Possible injury for injury is a deterrent.

        • Theo 2.0

          Yes but Milan will not take suspension after suspension because that’s money out of his families pocket. If Milan is out on the ice trying to intimidate everyone then he becomes even more of a liability then he already is.

    • Derian Hatcher

      Hope you don’t mind my two cents. Lucic will react and conquer IF he is engaged in the game. Last season, Drew Doughty elbowed McDavid in the face and Looch did nothing. There is no doubt that he is a nasty piece of business if / when he wants to be, but I believe the book on him is don’t wake him up and he’ll lay sleeping. I agree with Moe, it’s not the wild west anymore. If someone like, say, Jason Spezza were to slash JG, I cannot see a him fighting Looch. You saw how pissed Looch was at Mike Smith before – He has it in him, but as an Oiler, he was not consistently engaged. I like him and hope he does well there.

      • HOCKEY83

        He doesn’t have to fight spezza he just has to go out and hammer him so hard into the boards that spezza will regret ever putting skates on. What’s with all of this fighting talk. Looch will punish players by hitting them not fighting them.

  • Neal had to go and Treliving did the unthinkable and actually found a deal. Another year of that lack of effort and blocking younger talent under a coach who was already choked couldn’t happen. If for no other reason, Lucic for 10 games this year, will pound on The Oilers and The Canucks hard. Happy to have a BIG GUY again. BTW, Milan has had 5 twenty goal seasons. There are 3 DOME Battle of Alberta H.N.I C. games this season,..strap in!!

  • Flint

    Lucic can be bought out in the summer of 2021 before the expansion draft with two years remaining on his contract. The cap hit would be: 3,8mil, 4,5mil, 500k, 500k.

    The 2017 NHL buyout period began June 15 and the expansion draft was June 18-20th. As per Sportsnet: “Teams will be interested in buying out a player with a no-movement clause ahead of the expansion draft if they’d rather use a protection slot on a different player. For instance, the Colorado Avalanche bought out Francois Beauchemin and the New York Rangers bought out Dan Girardi, two players who would have been automatically protected.”

    Seattle expansion is the same rules as Vegas, so we can assume that if between today and the buyout period prior to the 2021 expansion draft the Flames determine they have 7 forwards they value more than sinking ~9million into a Lucic buyout he could be bought out in the last two years of his contract and it won’t affect out expansion draft protected list

    • Flint

      … or they could do the “back room deal” like the 10 that Vegas and various teams did for selecting or not selecting certain players…. like the 2nd rounder Pittsburgh sent to Vegas for selecting Fleury.

      I, some months ago, said trading for Lucic given his NMC and it’s influence on the expansion draft should be justification for immediate dismissal of a GM, but I was overlooking the details of a June 2021 buyout and the resulting cap hit (especially with EDM picking up 18% of Lucic’s salary)

      • Flint

        I don’t know if I understand your point because…. grammer, but if I do understand you, it’s irrelevant. The cap hit of 3,8 and 4,5 (it’s high because of signing bonuses) , then 500k 500k would be tough to swallow, but it’d be better than losing a top end player in the expansion draft if we’re in that position.

        Those last two years are either 5,25, 5,25 with Lucic or 3,8 and 4,5….without. That’s a fact. Then there are the two additional years at 500k if bought out.

      • Kevin R

        Yeah, but the cap space is not the issue here because technically we already ate the cap space with a bad contract, whether it’s Lucic or Neal. Actual buyout $$$ the owner has to write a cheque for is a lot less for Lucic, dont think the owner gives a rats a$$ with the rise of young guys playing a minimum cap hits during their ELC’s is becoming the trend. This buyout hype is just hype. Lucic can be even flipped 2 years from now, especially if we do get the value we are hoping for.

  • Budgie

    Trevling and Peters knew Neal would be tough to move after a poor showing in 2019. Neal had to be moved or occupy a 3rd. or 4th. line slot which likely would not help him achieve his 20 goal and 20 point average and make it harder to move him next season. Lucic has a clear role without taking a physical player’s spot on the roster, Lucic is the physical player that will stand in front of the net. Neal and Lucic are both slower, however, Lucic can be an effective spot player that can pinch hit on any line when the going gets tough. Neal you just keep putting him out hoping he might make a pass, bang in a rebound, or set up a play-I never saw him get a breakaway or shake a check. He has a decent shot, on the Oilers he may get top 6 minutes and be able to get in a groove. On Calgary he wasn’t going to get top 6 minutes. Calgary thought they were getting the Neal that was on Nashville, and Edmonton thought they were getting the Lucic that was on Boston. Meanwhile the game is much faster now. Tough to keep up. Even trade that is better than buy outs-moral: stay away from RFAs on July 1st unless they are heads above a prospect in your system

    • Flint

      In the Lucic case it is quite the contrary. People are overlooking that Treliving did a fairly astute job, or the best he could anyway, on this Lucic trade. The money that is owed to Milan Lucic if he plays the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons: 5,25mil x 2 = 10,5mil. The money paid to Lucic if he is bought out to protect an expansion draft asset: 9,479mil.

      It’s basically a wash or even cheaper for Milan to be bought out than to play thanks to the 18% retained by the Oil. As well, it just so happens that with his signing bonus structure, the only time it made much sense to buy Lucic out in his “buy-out proof contract” was the summer of 2021…. right before the draft. Made even more sensible by the 18% retained by Edm.

      Somehow…. someway…. Treliving took the worst contract in the NHL and turned it into money savings vs Neal ($2million over term) and money savings in event of a buy-out (as above).

    • Rudy27

      A lot of teams buy out players, mostly because they overpay FA to hopefully put their team over the top in the race to the Cup. It would be interesting to see what the league average is in the Buy Out space, and how BT compares.

    • Beer League Coach

      I share your concern about buy outs. Tre did not sign any big contracts at FA day this year. Hopefully, that is a sign that he has learned from his Brouwer and Neal mistakes. I have said many times on this site that any contract for a 29 or 29+ year old should not exceed 2 years. If the player can still perform after those 2 years he can still sign another contract for 1 or 2 years. At age 29 the $$ also needs to be kept at a reasonable amount. Don’t give the player an additional million to sign a short term deal. I would sooner let a player walk than give in to excessive demands and only get 1 year of performance out of a long term contract. $$ for performance, not just because he had a good year once in his career.

      • HOCKEY83

        Unfortunately that’s not the way the UFA season works. Whoever offers the most for the most years wins the player. No one is forced to sign anyone but if you want to win a free agent pick up battle you have to pay for it.

        • Beer League Coach

          Why sign them at all if they insist on ridiculous salary and/or term. Let them walk. If enough GM’s do this the players will get the message and the smart ones will keep their demands reasonable. It is ludicrous to sign them for big $$ and long term only to be forced to buy them out a couple years later when they can’t produce.

          • HOCKEY83

            Because there’s always some GM that is willing to sign at the price they want and money is king. Look at San jose…they were willing to pay tavares 13 million to win him over Toronto. Bet they’re happy he didn’t agree now. Gave them room to way overpay Karlsson 11.5 for 8 years with a full NMC until he’s 36 years old

    • FLT

      You’re right, always having a buyout or two on the books usually indicates bad deals were signed in the past. It’s possible that saving so much cash on Lucic’s deal vs. Neal’s gives Tre some additional leeway with ownership to continue issuing buyouts if necessary. Having that flexibility is a good thing.

      • HOCKEY83

        Just wait…in 5 years there’s going to be a number of 35 plus year olds making between 8 and 11 mil with 2 to 4 years left on their contract. You know who won’t have that….the Flames. Lucic’s 5.25 until he’s 34 is nowhere near the hit other teams are going to be taking for much older players. 5.25 is low in comparison to other teams massive contracts for older players

  • Mr. J

    Hello friendly neighbors to the south. I just wanted to come on here and say thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!
    I ended my season on oilersnation saying I wouldn’t be back if Lucic was still on the roster to start next season!!
    Thank you and I love you all !!!

    • Off the wall

      That’s the spirit! Give up on your team because of ONE player.
      Rejoice because of ONE player added.

      Good thing you’re an Oilers fan. Because in the south, we support our club…

      (You’re avatar makes me feel uncomfortable)

      • Mr. J

        OTW you haven’t watched Milan much have you? Here is what you can expect from Milan… yes the same milan you ALL use to make fun of lol but now he’s awesome.

        -He floats around high in his own end because the game is to fast for him and he knows he is liability. Hence he helps with no offence because of this.
        -His back checking is atrocious because he is either out of shape or is embarrassed by his skating style when he tries to skate fast.
        – How many 10 foot races on the ice do you think Milan wins to the puck? None.
        – His hands are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Can’t pick up a hard pass. Can’t stick handle(especially in tight or in the corners)
        – He can’t defend his players because he is a liability when he’s out there or would put the oilers on the PK chasing around guys that don’t want to fight him. Just look at tkachuk for example. Tkachuk won’t fight anyone bigger than him. That’s the way the league is going. Like I said OTW… Thank You!!! Lol i honestly can still not believe it was a 1 for 1 trade. You gave us a 20 goal scorer (10 of his last 11 seasons) (streak ended in cow town of course 🤦‍♂️) for theee worst contract in the NHL !!! At least that’s what every hockey person in the media has stated.
        Thank you and I love you all !!!

        • Flint

          We made fun of your team make-up. What we made fun of was that Lucic was brought in to be a top line player for the Oilers, and a points contributor, which was a reflection of your depth. Same as how Neal is now your best true winger! (Drai and Nuge are centers). Again, reflection of your depth. Neal and Lucic are 3rd line wingers at best, 4th line wingers more accurately on our team.

          Lucic is coming to Calgary for two reasons. 1. He ain’t James Neal who’s every bit your description of Lucic above and a worse skater and 2. To lay 3 or 4 bruising hits on your defenders and forwards every game we play you. And who on your team is going to do anything about it? I’m fine if you’re happy with Neal, and I’m realistic about what little Lucic brings…. but you’re still gonna miss it, when you see him crushing guys while wearing a Flames sweater.

          • Albertabeef

            One thing we need to consider, retribution hits. If Milan goes crazy with his his doe we need to fear retribution on our stars when he’s not out there? He won’t be playing on a line with Johnny. I’m feeling worse about this trade as time passes.

          • HOCKEY83

            Guys…c’mon give the oiler trolls this. It’s the closest thing that’s been anywhere close to an even trade they made in the last 5 years…Remember…they traded Hall and Eberle for Larson. The lopsidedness of that is still…historically…one of the worst fleecings the league has ever seen. The saddest part about being an oiler fan is they have arguably the best player in the league on their team who they will never see in the playoffs during his 8 year contract and then he will become UFA and go somewhere else to win a cup.

          • Porcupine at a balloon party

            His contract is up there and certainly on list of worst contracts. But at 5.25, it’s not nearly as bad. He’s still an NHLer, realistically a 3m $ player. That’s what keeps him off the top of the list.

          • Ken Holland

            Lucic is the worst contract in hockey. Any Oiler fan will tell you.

            Heck every flame fan has been telling us that since the day it was signed. There is no worse contract.

            We thought it was unmovable. We thought we had no way of getting rid of it.

            Thank you Brad!

    • oddclod

      Careful what you wish 4. We tried to sign Reaves, and essentially we get what we need. You are not filling a need anywhere on your roster. You’re in for a let down and that’s purely an understatement.

      • Albertabeef

        I love when people keep bringing up Reeves. Dude has 3 playoff points in 54 career playoff games. Reeves falls lower on the non-functional toughness meter than Lucic.

    • The Iggy complex

      Lol your welcome for a slow player who has no hands and no physical side rendering him useless. Have fun with no meaningful games after December again

      • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

        The let down Oilers fans are going to have with James Neal next year is going to be beautiful. Whenever I watched Neal last year all I thought was “How did this guy ever score 20+ Goal in the NHL?!?!”. He’s done like dinner and Edmonton thinks they’re getting a legit Top. 6 player. Bahahahah.

  • everton fc

    I wouldn’t move Bennett. Guys who should be shopped;

    Stone (buyout)

    Get these moves done, bring back some picks, and we move on.

    Also – if Neal not only performed badly down here, but was an issues “in the room”, what makes him become a positive, “in the room”, in Edmonton?

    • Chucky2

      Why Brodie? If they can move Czarnik, Frolik and buyout Stone that creates over $5 million in cap space which should be enough. They need 7 NHL level defensemen so Gio, Hannifin, Valimaki, Brodie, Hamonic, Anderson and Kylington form an effective unit. I am not sure that there is a good seventh guy in Stockton right now.
      Obviously they need to dump either Frolik or Bodie for cap space but both are not necessary.

      • everton fc

        Good point. I actually think Frolik may be more valuable to our team, than Brodie. As for the 7th d-man, perhaps Valiev, or Davidson – I think it’s a waste to keep Kylington up here as the extra defender.

        • Chucky2

          If there is a low cost 7th that can fill in for one game or so it makes sense to have Kylington in Stockton. He has earned NHL minutes by his performance last year so keeping him as the 7th guy ready for recall makes is a wise move. I expect that they will have a Prost type signing at camp to fill that roster spot but they still need 7 capable guys in case of injury.
          I think that Frolik is a very useful player and would be sad to see him go. Unfortunately he would be easier to replace because Dube is ready and Quine looks like he can fit in. So to me it is more reasonable for him to be the cap space sacrifice.

        • Porcupine at a balloon party

          As of last year, I don’t think he’s passed Brodie. But Brodie is at age you would expect some regression, or at least not progression, where as sky is the limit for Anderson at this point. But I’m not totally convinced we aren’t just seeing the Gio bump with Anderson. Not to say he isn’t good in his own right, but we really don’t know if Anderson is a legit top pairing defenceman yet. But as of last season, I would still put Brodie above him.

    • Flamethrower

      Totally agree, now on his 7th team in 11 years. It’s all about Neal! Glad he’s gone and going to Edmonton couldn’t be better.
      Let’s see where the chips fall!

    • moodyblue2

      Matty wants 9.5, matty will be traded! No way has he proven his implied worth! Bridge contract, and show me what you got. ie. disappearing in many games and making a presence in the playoff! Should be worth Eberle type of money!

        • CowboyBob

          Whoops, anyways, when I think of MT’s salary I just can’t get Lindholm out of my mind. Is MT twice as good as Lindholm, no. Is he 50% better, no. Lindholm is a better skater, better forechecker, much better defensively, can play centre, can kill penalties. Lindholm has almost the same amount of points and is only 3 years older. It would be generous to say MT is 15% better, so based on Lindholm’s contract MT should come in around $5.5 million for 4 years.

          • HOCKEY83

            Lindholm got paid before he did what he did…thankfully or he’d be getting considerably more as well. If he was RFA this summer there’s no way they’d be signing both

    • Garth

      A cousins friend, told my friend, who is kind of my cousin, and knows Keith well who is a friend of my girlfriend and is looking for a relationship told me Matty is going to sign with the Flames…….

    • Speed Kills

      Sure, lol… truth be told I chatted with some Richmond Hill folks (Friends of the Mcdavid’s family) who say Conner is Done in EDM, Unhappy, Board, Depressed and wants to go closer to home or at least out East by Next year. Much like Puljujärvi right now… Although It is well known that Nurse wants a “Trouba” type deal 6-8 years @ 8+… LOL, Well at least with 97 Gone, EDM will have the $$$ to make it happen.

  • buts

    One more year for Neal like last year and kiss all his millions away as you wouldn’t be able to give him away which some have said on here was this summer.

    • Mr. J

      Yes but the oilers have the option of a buyout lmao thanks to your gm. Heck of a start Mr Ken Holland. Don’t forget Dave Tippet got James Neal’s career started 🙂 So a buyout may not be needed. Enjoy sweet Milan and his pouting lip for the next 5 years!!! No buyout for you!! Like the article said …. the ideal situation would be to trade Milan after this season.. ain’t happening. Your now stuck with this contract.

      • Garth

        …and sadly the Oilers have both Mike Smith and James Neal on their roster. Flames 2 biggest issues are now yours. And remember every former Oiler the has left that ‘cancerous’ organization has done very well with the new teams. Enjoy!

        • Albertabeef

          Mike Smith? The only guy who showed up for the playoffs? You call that our biggest issue? Wow lol. Don’t get me wrong, he’s old and I didn’t want to keep him. However he was not the issue I had a problem with in the playoffs.

          • Luter 1

            I am now calling out Mr Fakemeat as an Oiler troll, just too many Oiler leaning comments. That or he doesn’t really watch the games just looks at stats without any thought to intangibles – bonecrushing hits versus a stat hit, intimidation, a good fight, all things he doesn’t seem to understand. According to him get the 15 fastest guys in the league no matter what size or temperament and you win the Cup.

      • The Iggy complex

        Haha yea what a start by Holland. He needed 3 to 6 players and two more top 4 d. With a good chunk of the salary he had he obtained several more bottom 6/ 13th forwards to go along with the plethora of those they have already. Then add Neal who wouldn’t even do well in the AHL. Have fun at the bottom of the standings again

  • The juice

    I actually like the trade. For one Neil was terrible for the locker room. At least on on occasion he was caught fooling around with staff at National while he had a girlfriend while at a team function. A few of the girlfriends of the players made a complaint and the server was let go.
    The players girlfriends didn’t like him at all for his conduct on or off the ice.
    If I’m a player and my significant other hates my teammate, it kills team cohesion.

  • Garry T

    Is Lucic worth $5.75 mil for another 4 years. No. But, after having time to think, if he is used right, he will be good for the team. He does have an offensive presence around the net. He doesn’t have to fight. He just needs to hit hard legally along the boards and he does need to nail players that have their heads down, as long as he does that penalty free. This will create more space for our guys that would not have had that space had he not been traded here. Glad to have you Looooch.

  • Chucky2

    I have never been a Lucic fan and am still a little cool to the idea that he is a Flame. But I believe that Iginla has the best interests of the Flames in his heart. If he went out of his way to convince Lucic to come to the Flames then I have to conclude that this is a good move.

  • someone

    Treliving doesn’t seem like a knee jerk reaction type of fella. This seems knee jerky (only 1 year of five in the books)… they must have really wanted to rid of Neal. Maybe for reasons not made public. Maybe not… just out of character.
    Anyway, good riddance… was really tired of watching him float, lose puck battles, pass/shoot too soon and so on. I don’t remember one game or play where I thought… nice work Neal.

    • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

      That’s the thing, I honestly can’t remember Neal scoring even one goal last year where I was like “He beat the goalie straight up on that one” or “WOW, what a shot”, all seven of his goals were literally lucky bounces or off total screens. Edmonton thinks they’re getting a perennial 20 Goal scorer, but the entire time I watched Neal last year I was like “How did this guy ever score 20+ Goals?!?!”. He really looks like Dany Heatley at the end of his career when he fell off a cliff.

      I think Neal has always really been a one dimensional scorer and he’s always had good linemates on deep teams to get him the puck and now that he’s just a little slower and a little less effective his linemates all of last year, whatever line he was on just seemed to want nothing to do with him. Honestly for half of the year last year I tried to keep saying “Neal’s going to bounce back” and remain positive, but it was so bad by the end of it I couldn’t imagine him ever bouncing back, even despite a career low shooting percentage. He couldn’t even handle a pass or hit the net. I also got the feeling that no one on the Flames liked him, after every whistle they would all just ignore him and pretend like he wasn’t even there on the bench.

  • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

    Edmonton fans are in such denial these days, it’s wild. They’ve been so bad for so long they don’t even really understand what good Hockey players look like anymore.

    Every Edmonton Media Post I’ve seen has Neal returning back to a 20-25+ Goal scorer next year, which is utterly ridiculous from what I saw last year. Watching Neal I honestly really doubt he ever even cracks 15 goals again. He was just sooooo bad last year, four of his seven goals literally went off his butt or took a weird bounce to go in, he honestly scored maybe two nice straight up goal scorer goals if that last year. He honestly couldn’t even hit the net most nights. Neal also couldn’t handle a pass or even get through the neutral zone with the puck and he has always been a puck hog that isn’t a great passer (something even Lucic is better at). The only way I can see Neal topping 20 Goals is if he’s playing with McDavid and honestly if I’m the Oilers I don’t want that at all. Neal dragged down everyone he played with including Tkachuk and Backlund who usually make everyone they play with look great.

    James Neal couldn’t even stick on our fourth line last year and Edmonton thinks they’re getting a Top. 6 forward? Wow, I get that outside of McDavid, Drasatil and RNH they basically have an AHL team at forward, but I just kind of feel sorry for Edmonton fans now and how in denial they really are after watching bad Hockey for a decade plus they just don’t get it anymore.

      • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

        Bhahaha, Ryan Lambert?!?!?!?! That’s the article you use to prove a point about Lucic being bad!?!?!? That’s the funniest thing I have ever heard!!!!! He used to write for this site and I don’t think he ever wrote one worthwhile in his entire time at FN, he used to go on and on about how Mark Jankowksi would never even play a game in the AHL, among other extremely bad takes. Honesty it got to a point here that if Ryan Lambert didn’t like it, it was considered a good thing.

        That’s the thing I am not delusional about Lucic as a Flames fan, he and James Neal are the same player (except Lucic had better underlying numbers on a much worse team last year), but at least Lucic is tough and can fight. Neal is a pre-maddona that can’t score anymore or even handle a pass.

      • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

        “They have more Playoff wins then the flames in the last decade.”

        Hahahah, again Edmonton fans being proud of the fact they’ve made the playoffs once in a decade. You have seven playoff wins in a decade. The Flames have six wins during that same time. Congratulations you’ve won one more playoff game than us in a decade, which only an in denial Oilers fan would be proud of. Thanks for further proving my point!!! The Flames have been to the playoffs three times in the last five years, while Edmonton has finished behind the Flames in the standings all but one fluky year that made you want trade away Jordan Eberle for some crazy reason.

        • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

          I’d also like to point out that Milan Lucic had 50 Points that year, a point threshold James Neal hasn’t cracked in that same time period. Neal’s barely been a 40 Point player the two years previous to last year, but “he’s a lock to bounce back”. Dudes been dropping off for three or four years now and he’s a candidate to bounce back big time, Bhahahahah. Las Vegas had a ton of cap room and sill gave up on Neal and Pittsburgh did as well, so three teams in like five years have given up on Neal, but he’s going to be on your Top. 6. Thanks for the laughs.

  • Sterls

    Flames and Oilers traded goats. In regards to on ice product, best case scenario for Flames is Lucic somehow finds chemistry with Byng and Backlund, and produces close to previous levels (extremely unlikely), worst case, he is as bad as Neal last year, but will at least hit something, and maybe keep other teams honest toward our stars (very likely). For the oilers, best case scenario is Neal finds chemistry with Nuge giving them a consistent second scoring line (probable), worst case, he is just as useless for the Oilers as he was the Flames, and they now have a 6.5 mil 4th liner who doesn’t do anything (just a probable). Oilers have the best chance at some upside, but an equal chance of disaster. Flame improve slightly no matter what, with a very slim chance of improved offense.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    Trade Tre to oil country in exchange for Holland. Tre has made 2 huge mistakes, Brouwer and Neil, has put us in this mess, swapping 2 bad contracts, Chiarelli got canned.

    • Albertabeef

      Don’t forget the Mason Raymond buyout as well. And we never should have traded for Hamilton. We way overpaid for Hamonic, a trade that should not have happened. Ever since Tre arrived we have gone through 11 goalies in 5 seasons. We have lacked right handed shots and Tre has done little to address this issue. Ryan and Lindholm and that’s pretty much it, Czar is kind of iffy. Lets talk coaches. Tre never even had a list each time he needed a new coach, just a single name and never interviewed anyone else. Both hires had basically zero playoff experience as a head coach. Now that we’ve added Talbot and Lucic I basically have zero faith in Tre. Worst Flames GM since Button(I was gonna say Risebrough though lol). Tre makes Dutter look like a freaking genius and we all know how dopey Dutter looks lol.

      • HOCKEY83

        Who cares. everything you mention resulted in best in the west and second best team in the NHL. I personally am thankful Tre didn’t go out and overpay a ligit starter goalie. The flames would not be able to sign Tkachuk no matter what moves they could make other than dismantling the team to get it done if they’d signed a 6 to 10 mil goalie. It could be soooo much worse we could all be oiler fans watching the best player in the league since Crosby play the first 10 years of his career with a team that never makes the playoffs and then move on once he becomes UFA

    • The Iggy complex

      Tre has turned the team into tops in the West and a contending team. What a terrible gm I guess? Made great RFA signings so far. Many good trades including the Lindholm trade. But oh now he made a couple bad ufa signings…. Like every other gm in the history of the nhl

      • Albertabeef

        Before the All-Star break I thought we were contenders. Since that time I have serious questions. Also we have failed to make the playoff in back to back seasons. Until that happens we’re not even close to there yet. One good acquisition(Lindholm) in 5 years is not something to be happy about. ALL our other decent to good acquisitions came through draft.

      • drogon

        @Hockey83… haha, that’s funny, not all due… referring to the current situation. Mitch Marner is an incredible player and probably can challenge and win the scoring title one day. With his skill set, he can generate more points than Matthews or Tavares. Tkachuk is not in the same category. The balance of power shifted/started with McDavid, Draisaitl & Matthews.

        • HOCKEY83

          Players were way over paid long before Mcdavid got his contract. Example…Toews and Kane getting 10.5 mil each 5 years ago with full NMC’s for 8 years. Neither player was worth 7 mil at the time. 10 mil for any goalie in this league is outrageous. 11 mil for Dmen…so stupid. Thank god tre is good at the contracts. Toronto offering Matthews the second highest contract in the league at the time…They created their own problems with Marner. Marner deserves the same as Matthews…why should he choose to take less because he was signed last.

      • oilcanboyd

        No, NHL started getting overpriced players after Gretzky was sold (with some players thrown in) to an LA Kings owner who didn’t have two cents of his own.

  • oilcanboyd

    Read this article in the Edmonton Journal, written before The Trade was consummated:
    Please note: Milan Lucic is one of the game’s most feared players. The game that McD was injured last year, Lucic was not dressed.
    As far as I am concerned, Smith will have a greater say in whether or NOT the Oilers make the playoffs next season. He could play really great and then be injured due to being overplayed…then what? You oiler fans have total confidence in Koskinen?

          • Albertabeef

            That’s not passion, that’s stupidity and arrogance. A couple more of those and he will be another Cam Neely. Man did I ever like watching Neely score. 49 goals in 49 games and gets injured, scores in his next game but doesn’t get the “50 in 50” credit.

          • Albertabeef

            Last game of the season with no playoff position at stake I would not expect any Flames player to do something stupid like that. A smart player turns with the puck and protects himself and the puck, even in an important game. It was completely reckless.

  • Joeyhere

    Yahoo Sports called the Lucic trade so bad it is a “fireable offence” by Treliving

    I think that is a bit extreme but still under no circumstances should we have taken on a buyout proof contract. Neal was awful – but we found one of the few contracts in the league even worse and BT went for it
    There were other answers for Neal and if we Need toughness – Ferlund went for just 3.5m/ year. Affordable if we had done a fire sale on Frolick

    • The Iggy complex

      Yea people said similiar stuff about the Hamilton trade. Easy over paid blah blah blah, Calgary got fleeced blah blah blah. Yet turned out fantastic. That’s why GM’s are GM’s and Yahoo writers are Yahoo writers

      • Albertabeef

        Yes because we had to get rid of Hamilton. Duh! Fantastic is a word I would not use, good maybe. If Lindholm had been a 40 point player with the Flames you might not feel that way. Can’t say “fantastic” for sure after just one season. Also in the playoffs Lindholm was the most scored against forward on the team. He did have 134 more minutes played than the season before, but that shouldn’t be enough to wear you out before playoffs start. But we probably could have traded Ferland for Linholm straight up or with the add of Fox, if we never had Hamilton.

    • Albertabeef

      But both past GMs who made deals with Edmonton were gone within the same calendar year as the deal. One quit the other was relieved of duties. I think someone needs to start a pool from now to January first lol. Use January first as a “still here” option for a bet. So pick a date, and pick “QUIT” “FIRED” or January first for “Still Here”. JUST FOR FUN! I pick fired Nov25th.

      If you don’t know I was born at the Holy Cross hospital in the early 1970’s a few blocks from where the Dome currently resides. The first time I remember watching a hockey game was in the late 70’s a playoff game between the Flyers and Islanders. I was hooked and when the Flames came to town I had a new favorite team. I just gotta say growing up going to school with A-hole Oilers/Eskimos fans on top of the on ice/field rivalries buried a hate of that team so deep. The arrogance of calling your city “the city of champions”, and living in a much nicer city in Calgary just makes you HATE Edmonton. If you didn’t grow up in that era in Calgary you just don’t understand.

  • Albertabeef

    So how long will it be before we stop hearing comments of James Neal on here? Will we be forever comparing the two? This sucks. This is why these two teams should NEVER trade players.

  • MDG1600

    Can people not do basic math?

    Even with the Oilers covering 12.5% a Lucic contract buyout for the expansion draft is not cheaper than Neals.
    $4.5 +3.8 +.5 +.5 = 9.3 (Lucic)
    $1.9+1.9+1.9+1.9 = 7.6 (Neal)

    Plus the high cap hits in the first 2 years on Lucic will mean Calgary gets little relief for those years. And Neal doesn’t need to be protected.

    From a hockey p.o.v. I actually don’t mind this trade short term because I feel we need the snarl and legit heavyweight presence that Lucic brings.

    That said, it seems pretty clear that in the long run Lucic contract is a worse contract.

    Any way I slice it this is a pretty risky and questionable move and I don’t agree with the posts praising BT for the trade.

      • The Iggy complex

        Haha yea I mean who cares how well a player impacts your team. Or if he can prevent scoring chances/ creat scoring chances and put your team in a positive situation. Lol all that matters is that extra 1.7 million buyout…..

        • Albertabeef

          You are assuming a whole lot. If he had such a great influence on his team why did he only get 4 power play points with 100+ minutes. If he is sooooo great defensively why did he not play a single second of PK time last season? We are talking about a guy who can’t crack the top two lines on a crappy team. I prefer to be more realistic. Do you really believe Lucic is god’s gift to hockey? That’s how you sound. The worst part is you are already talking buyouts while pumping his tires lmao. That’s insane. Lets just wait and see if anything good comes of this. There is a strong possibility he gets bumped to popcorn quality assessment by a prospect lol.

    • Kevin R

      @MDG: Perhaps recheck. This year Lucic is owed by Flames $5,250,000.00, next year $3,250,000, next year $4,250,000 & final year $3,250,000.00 If we were to pay him out on his last 2 years, real money on the buyout would be based on the $7.5 mill left owing to Lucic for his final two years. For Neal, it would be based on $11.5 mill. Yes, the cap hit saved for the two years is very small & favours the Neal buyout. But the Neal buyout will cost the owner more $$$. So, we’re talking actual $$$ & not cap hits. Big difference. Because that would make Lucic more tradable in 2 years from now because the $$$ is much lower than the cap hit to teams like Ottawa. Get your facts right.