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View Poll Results: What do you think of the trade after a week of getting your head around it?
Love it, think Lucic is an upgrade 75 12.84%
Like it, clears some cap space even if Lucic is no better 185 31.68%
Indifferent, both teams getting a failed project 178 30.48%
Dislike it, Neal needed another year to bounce back 101 17.29%
Hate it, Neal will be better in Edmonton 45 7.71%
Voters: 584. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-09-2019, 12:51 PM   #2881
The Yen Man
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That was exactly it.

You could trade Neal for another one-dimensional goal scorer that hasn't worked out yet.

Okposo, Eriksson, etc

Or you could trade him for Lucic who maybe was worse offensively actually but would fit a role in our bottom 6.

The issue with the trade from day 1 wasn't the players involved IMO, but the team they were making the deal with.

Neal always had the chance to produce more playing on the top Edmonton PP with Draisaitl and McDavid, guys like Kassian/Chiasson had proved that anybody can produce in that spot, and an in-shape James Neal is still better than those guys.

So the issue with the deal was less about what Calgary was giving up, or even getting in return, but the issue was always that it had the potential to make Edmonton stronger.
Does he though? I guess time will tell this season, but again, I'd argue all they did was replace Chaisson's 20 goals with Neal's. Chaisson will probably score about as much as Lucic did last season. So how does that make their team stronger?
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:55 PM   #2882
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Does he though? I guess time will tell this season, but again, I'd argue all they did was replace Chaisson's 20 goals with Neal's. Chaisson will probably score about as much as Lucic did last season. So how does that make their team stronger?
In three games he's directly responsible for 4 points in the standings. It's not a stretch to think his addition could be good for 15+ additional points in the standings if he scores close to 30 goals. There is little doubt the Oilers are clearly better with Neal than Lucic. It's a hard pill for me to swallow personally as it's also made the Flames look foolish around the league for bailing out a rival team. I'm tired of this organization making mistakes like this as it's always one step forward, one step back with this team.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:00 PM   #2883
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In three games he's directly responsible for 4 points in the standings. It's not a stretch to think his addition could be good for 15+ additional points in the standings if he scores close to 30 goals. There is little doubt the Oilers are clearly better with Neal than Lucic. It's a hard pill for me to swallow personally as it's also made the Flames look foolish around the league for bailing out a rival team. I'm tired of this organization making mistakes like this as it's always one step forward, one step back with this team.
Dude...

There aren't 10 players in the league that are worth 15 points in the standings individually. Also, suggesting that he has been worth 4 points in the standings is laughable.

As has been said, he is replacing Chiasson's goals.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:00 PM   #2884
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I think as fans we are too emotional about this stuff.
Is it frustrating to see Neal on a tear? Sure. But what can you do? Does it matter that it is with the Oil? Only in our heads.
At the end of the day, nothing changes the fact that Neal was done here after last season. Obviously Peters has no more time for him, and that's that.
The best thing we as fans can do is get over it and look forward to the 3rd round pick coming our way.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:03 PM   #2885
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Neal was 5th among forwards in PP TOI last year.

Do you believe he deserved more time than Gaudreau, Monahan, Lindholm or Tkachuk?
He's a trigger man - plain and simple. James Neal can beat you from a distance where few guys can. And in signing him, I think it's a fair assumption he'd be used in that capacity, which he never was. And call me crazy, but I still see that as a shortcoming on our PP.

It's entirely fair to question James Neal's give a crap meter last year, because it was abysmal. He's not innocent here by any stretch.

But do I think he'd have contributed more if he was used in areas of his strength? Without question.

I'm a Peters guy, but I don't think this situation was handled properly. And that's far from only James Neal's fault.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:05 PM   #2886
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Originally Posted by Erick Estrada View Post
In three games he's directly responsible for 4 points in the standings. It's not a stretch to think his addition could be good for 15+ additional points in the standings if he scores close to 30 goals. There is little doubt the Oilers are clearly better with Neal than Lucic. It's a hard pill for me to swallow personally as it's also made the Flames look foolish around the league for bailing out a rival team. I'm tired of this organization making mistakes like this as it's always one step forward, one step back with this team.
Little early for this talk...I mean do you actually think the Oilers are making the playoffs when all is said and done? Most likely scenario is that Neal's goals just get them a worse draft pick and add a 3rd to the Flames.

Foolish around the league? Any team could have had Neal by simply taking the contract off our hands
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:07 PM   #2887
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I agree that his usage on the PP was misguided, and that he should have been used more as a trigger man. But you are over-stating his worth because, even when he was used in that way, he was awful. And again, 5th in PP time.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:08 PM   #2888
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Dude...

There aren't 10 players in the league that are worth 15 points in the standings individually. Also, suggesting that he has been worth 4 points in the standings is laughable.

As has been said, he is replacing Chiasson's goals.
Basically, yes, but it is a little more complicated than that. Neal is probably going to cash in a lot on the powerplay—moreso than Chiasson did last year. But I think where this will hurt the Oilers is in the drag that Neal will have on the second line. Last year Nugent-Hopkins had a career year in large part because he got a lot of turns with McDavid and Draisaitl. That won't happen this year
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:10 PM   #2889
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Little early for this talk...I mean do you actually think the Oilers are making the playoffs when all is said and done? Most likely scenario is that Neal's goals just get them a worse draft pick and add a 3rd to the Flames.

Foolish around the league? Any team could have had Neal by simply taking the contract off our hands
I doubt they make the playoffs but it's very possible they improve. Maybe it's right place at the right time but you can't ignore winning follows Neal around.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:12 PM   #2890
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He's a trigger man - plain and simple. James Neal can beat you from a distance where few guys can. And in signing him, I think it's a fair assumption he'd be used in that capacity, which he never was. And call me crazy, but I still see that as a shortcoming on our PP...
Did you watch him last year? Perhaps the most astonishing thing about Neal's performance in 2018–19 was how terrible his shot quite suddenly looked. It was crazy. And watching his first three games in Edmonton I am honestly not especially convinced that his shot looks much better this year.

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It's entirely fair to question James Neal's give a crap meter last year, because it was abysmal. He's not innocent here by any stretch.

But do I think he'd have contributed more if he was used in areas of his strength? Without question.

I'm a Peters guy, but I don't think this situation was handled properly. And that's far from only James Neal's fault.
So, again: Who on that first powerplay do you think Neal should have replaced last year?
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:15 PM   #2891
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Every body talks about the "fit" with Neal.

And I think his premature Oiler success really drives home that point.

When signed, Neal was the perfect fit for that top line. For all of the reasons that he was sought after in the first place. In hindsight, it would have pushed Lindholm down and created less of a top heavy depth problem.

The issue almost originates with Peters, Monahan and Gaudreau. Peters wants the team to play a certain way, to have success. A 200 ft game. Good defense to create good offense. The best teams' top lines should be able to play against anyone in all situations. The problem with that is that Monahan and Gaudreau don't particularly excel at the defensive side of the game, and James Neal sure as heck doesn't.

That trios stats probably would have been good, but they're GF/GA breakdown would have been horrid. Enter Elias Lindholm, a versatile 2 way forward who is on the upswing. An ever coveted right shot and can take faceoffs. The chemistry was almost instant and his 2 way game and experience at center allows for switching off with Monahan in the D zone. It was a no brainer.

So bump Neal down to line 2. Almost a non starter. Thats the matchup line and Neal is never winning a Selke.

So he plays with Jankowski and Bennett in an energy role. Neal has always needed to play with good players to have success. I like those guys, but they're no Gaudreau/McDavid/Malkin.

I think with Neal, if he's scoring, everything else follows, he'll play with an edge and a swagger. If hes not scoring, he's useless.

This leads to Neal and the Oilers. They don't have the same depth as the Flames do, they don't have the benefit of considering fit, line matching etc, they just need wingers with a pulse. Enter James Neal and its easy to see why he's having early success and never really fit in here.

Its really too bad because that top six winger that he was signed to be is exactly what this team needs right now.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:23 PM   #2892
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I agree that his usage on the PP was misguided, and that he should have been used more as a trigger man. But you are over-stating his worth because, even when he was used in that way, he was awful. And again, 5th in PP time.
Well, I don't know that I'm overstating anything.

We agree on usage not being right, regardless of which unit he was on. And if on the #2 PP unit, he's playing with guys like Ryan, Frolik, Bennett, etc, without any true playmakers. So even if he was used right on the #2 unit his ceiling was capped dramatically.

Usage is the crux of the issue, though. Peters tinkers with lines constantly, but we almost never saw that with the #1 PP unit. And this is a team that finished 18th in the league in PP% (among the worst of all playoff teams).

And while there's no way in hell I'll say Neal is better than the other 4 forwards, I'd have liked to see him given opportunities on that unit, used in the right way to extract the most value from him.

Last edited by howard_the_duck; 10-09-2019 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:25 PM   #2893
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Did you watch him last year? Perhaps the most astonishing thing about Neal's performance in 2018–19 was how terrible his shot quite suddenly looked. It was crazy. And watching his first three games in Edmonton I am honestly not especially convinced that his shot looks much better this year.


So, again: Who on that first powerplay do you think Neal should have replaced last year?
I'd attribute that to confidence, more than anything.

And re: replace - see post above.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:27 PM   #2894
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Personally, I'd have like to see Neal shown the door halfway through last season or never signed at all, rather than give him more ice time
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:28 PM   #2895
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I agree that his usage on the PP was misguided, and that he should have been used more as a trigger man. But you are over-stating his worth because, even when he was used in that way, he was awful. And again, 5th in PP time.
Oddly enough, he doesn't seem to be scoring PP goals as the trigger man for Edmonton either.

Tap ins / net front jam goals so far.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:30 PM   #2896
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Well, I don't know that I'm overstating anything.

We agree on usage not being right, regardless of which unit he was on. And if on the #2 PP unit, he's playing with guys like Ryan, Frolik, Bennett, etc, without any true playmakers. So even if he was used right on the #2 unit his ceiling was capped dramatically.

Usage is the crux of the issue, though. Peters tinkers with lines constantly, but we almost never saw that with the #1 PP unit. A unit that finished 18th in the league (among the worst of all playoff teams).
The Flames top unit was #18 in the NHL? Where does one find this information?

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And while there's no way in hell I'll say Neal is better than the other 4 forwards, I'd have liked to see him given opportunities on that unit, used in the right way to extract the most value from him.
That's a tough sell when every single member of the top unit had a career year in powerplay production. All five of them were in the top-50 in powerplay points—how does that happen when the top unit is not among the top-ten powerplay units?
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:31 PM   #2897
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In three games he's directly responsible for 4 points in the standings. It's not a stretch to think his addition could be good for 15+ additional points in the standings if he scores close to 30 goals. There is little doubt the Oilers are clearly better with Neal than Lucic. It's a hard pill for me to swallow personally as it's also made the Flames look foolish around the league for bailing out a rival team. I'm tired of this organization making mistakes like this as it's always one step forward, one step back with this team.
I'm not sure any player is worth an additional 19 points in a season, and certainly not a 30 goal scorer who isn't particularly great at other elements of the game.

It's absolutely ridiculous to suggest Neal is worth a 19 point gain.

I'll ask Matt Reeeed to step in with his opinion of the value of a player like Neal (assuming 30 goals) over a replacement type player.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:34 PM   #2898
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The Flames top unit was #18 in the NHL? Where does one find this information?

Team PP%. Google.

Unit or team, doesn't much matter. Fact is it wasn't a unit that was above tinkering.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:37 PM   #2899
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He's a trigger man - plain and simple. James Neal can beat you from a distance where few guys can.
Seems to me his goals so far have been tap-ins around the crease.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:37 PM   #2900
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Oddly enough, he doesn't seem to be scoring PP goals as the trigger man for Edmonton either.

Tap ins / net front jam goals so far.
That's true. I believe he has scored 3 goals right around the goal line. It's the exact spot the Flames used him in on the powerplay. Although the difference is he's now on the PP1 unit with the Oilers whereas he was on the PP2 unit with the Flames.
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