Lucic calls Oilers and Flames trading conditions “hilarious”


When the Edmonton Oilers reached an agreement to send the struggling and overpaid forward Milan Lucic to the Calgary Flames, they received a 20-goal veteran for James Neal. What looked like a winner for the Oilers was also seen in Calgary as a breath of fresh air because Neal was out of touch with the Flames at all.

Part of the trading condition was a third round pick in 2020 returning to Calgary if Neal had scored 21 goals and Lucic had finished at least 10 goals less than Neal in the 2019-20 season. That did not happen – at least depending on the state of each player’s respective production at the close of the current NHL season.

Neal currently has 19 goals and Lucic has eight with the season on hiatus.

Lucic calls the condition fun

Lucic said in a conversation with the cast of the podcast “Spittin‘ Chiclets “on Thursday that it is hilarious that these two teams are in the situation they are in. Taking into account the fact that the hosts of the show seemed to be in a state of treating it backwards (claiming that it was the Flames who would give up the choice), with a commercial condition so close to being fulfilled, Lucic seemed almost surprised that there is a question as to why the league would not rule in favor of the Flames.

Milan Lucic Calgary Flames
Milan Lucic, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Oilers general manager Ken Holland said he believed the NHL would allow the Oilers to keep the choice, all things considered, but the NHL has yet to decide. Officially, nobody knows what’s going to happen with this third round pick and Lucic finds it fun.

“I think it’s hilarious that that’s what it comes down to right now,” said Lucic. He added, “If you ask me, I think the condition should be maintained. “

Lucic assumes that he would have done his part to bridge the gap between him and Neal. Noting that there were 12 games remaining and the two were 11 goals apart, Lucic thought he was getting hot at the right time and suggested that he could potentially have run.

He explained:

“The thing is, I too had a (goal) and a (help) in my last game, and I started to feel it again, and (Neal) had just suffered a very big injury… I think I probably would have closed that 11 goal gap. That’s why I think it’s funny that this is where it is going right now. ”

What makes Lucic so confident?

Maybe Lucic thinks that because Neal scored 19 of his goals in his first 42 games and had just been injured, he was no longer contributing to the Oilers. Maybe Lucic also thinks that because he has four goals and nine points in his last 15 games, he is now a scoring machine. Maybe he’s right. He’s more likely to be a little too confident.

James Neal Oilers of Edmonton
James Neal, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr / The Hockey Writers)

Neal may not be with the Oilers next season. Making a high salary and playing lower in the depth chart for Edmonton means the Oilers could try to lose their salary amid rumors of a lowering of the salary cap. At the same time, Lucic has not been exactly an effective hockey player in the past two seasons. It would have to be assumed that if the Flames could wipe his salary off the books, and without the consequences of a buyout, they would.

Where her confidence comes from is a little scary. He is a player who has stated publicly many times that his mind was not entirely normal when he was playing for the Oilers and that he was having trouble recovering his game. a $ 6 million player who still has only eight goals this season. It is hard to pretend that he got his game back and that he is certainly still being overpaid.

Related: Mark Messier – NHL Legend and 6-time Stanley Cup Winner

Statistics are on Neal’s side here

If the season were to resume, the figures seem to favor Neal. A player with a proven track record of 21 goals would likely have reached it, even if he played within minutes. The past few seasons also suggest that Lucic had the potential to get cold as much as he was likely to get hot.

Neal participated in the power play in the best power play in the league. He had Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and others to help him get what needed only two more goals. And, even if Lucic has kept pace, to argue that the NHL should force Calgary to abandon conditional choice (remember, the show seemed to have backed down) without the condition actually being met is, to say the least, odd.

All in all, it’s great Lucic seems to be feeling good about his game. That said, it looks like he’s getting a bit ahead of himself.

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