On Friday afternoon, word came through on Twitter that Milan Lucic waived his no trade clause and agreed to be traded to the Oilers’ Albertan rivals, the Calgary Flames, for James Neal. Well, actually the Flames also get a conditional 2020 draft pick as well.
Huh I always just assumed the no move clause in Milan Lucic's deal was referring to his style of play
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) July 19, 2019
Oilers: James Neal
Flames: Milan Lucic
Both way overpaid and likely over-the-hill, but much prefer the bet on Neal over Lucic. pic.twitter.com/2ZL2LdrTbX
— dom luszczyszyn (@domluszczyszyn) July 19, 2019
In the deal, the Oilers retained 12.5% of Lucic’s salary over the remaining four years of his six-year deal- $750,000 our year for $3 million over four years.
What’s interesting is that both players are 31 years old and on the decline. Milan Lucic last produced over 50 points in 2015-16 with the LA Kings, afterward signing his bloated deal with the Peter Chiarelli-run Edmonton Oilers. Last season, he put up only 20 points. James Neal, had a terrible season in Calgary last year but has been a solid performer in the past, when he wasn’t injured.
When this trade was announced, a certain sect of Bruins fans wondered why we couldn’t trade David Backes for Lucic. It’s a dumb argument, right? Lucic will not produce much and his deal is two years longer! We don’t need 4 years of bad contracts, we just need to get rid of this two year deal that has the same cap hit but only $5 million remaining in actual salary. Even looking at the other side of that deal, getting Neal back wouldn’t help the B’s who need to shed some salary to be able to sign both McAvoy and Carlo. Could he perform like a 2nd line wing? Maybe, but the B’s can’t afford that.
Whatever those fans want for nostalgia’s sake, they don’t understand that we all dodged a bullet here.