Edmonton Oilers trade forward Milan Lucic to Calgary Flames for James Neal
After weeks of speculation, the Battle of Alberta just got a whole lot more interesting. Both the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames have confirmed the rumoured trade of Milan Lucic in exchange for James Neal.
Both clubs confirmed the move in a tweet just after 5:30 p.m. on Friday.
The Flames also got a conditional third-round draft pick in the trade.
Just minutes after the trade was confirmed, Lucic tweeted a photo of his new jersey.
Lucic signed in Edmonton ahead of the 2016-17 season and scored 23 goals and 50 points in his first season with the club, helping lead them to the second round of the NHL playoffs.
He has recently fallen out of favour with fans and pundits around the city for his lack of offensive production over the last two seasons while playing on a $6-million per season contract.
“Both of those players needed a change of scenery,” Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman told Bob Stauffer on 630 CHED Oilers Now. “I think both of those teams look at it like ‘we can help each other out here.'”
LISTEN BELOW: 630 CHED Oilers Now special coverage of the Lucic/Neal trade
In Neal, the Oilers acquire a 10-time, 20-goal-scorer and a player who appeared in the Stanley Cup Final with Nashville in 2017 and Vegas in 2018.
The soon-to-be 32-year-old had a down year in Calgary last year, posting career lows in goals with seven, assists with 12 and points with 19.
He’s also represented Canada four times, the Oilers said in a news release Friday evening. Neal captured a gold medal as part of the 2007 World Junior team and received silver medals at the 2009 World Hockey Championship and the 2005 World U18 Championship. He also played for Canada in 2011 at the World Hockey Championship.
WATCH BELOW: Global Calgary and Edmonton sports anchors weigh in on Lucic and Neal trade
Neal joins former teammate Mike Smith, who also struggled last year with Calgary. Lucic, meanwhile will be reunited with former Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot, who signed a contract with the Flames this off-season.
The first regular season installment of the Battle of Alberta goes in at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Dec. 27.
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