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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, 01:38 PM   #2901
GullFoss
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I'd argue that James Neal only plays well under two conditions. And both conditions must be met

1) when he's playing with high end offensive linemates because he's a finisher.

2) When the center on Neals line is able to play an elite two way game...because Neal is an outright liability defensively

Year:
2010/11 - Neal plays with Brad Richards and scores 21 goals in 59 games. Then traded to Pittsburgh when he plays with letetsu and scores one goal in 20 games...

2011/12 - plays with Malkin and gets 40 goals

2012/13 - plays with malkin and gets 21 goals in 40 games

2013/14 - 27 goals in 59 games (Malkin)

2014/15 - 20 goals with Ribero and Forsberg

2015/16 - 30 goals with Ryan Johansen

2016-17 - 23 goals with Forsberg

.2017/18 - 25 goals with Haula and Perron

2018/19 - 6 goals with Backlund, Ryan, Janko

None of those guys on the flames have elite offensive skill. The only way Neal was going to work in Calgary was if he played on the first line. And the only reason it's working in Edmonton is because hes playing with McDavid. The guy is a finisher with a terrible defensive game.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:38 PM   #2902
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Seems to me his goals so far have been tap-ins around the crease.
All 4 of his PPGs are tap ins, deflections while on the lip of the crease, or weird jam plays from the goalline right beside the net.

His 2 even strength goals are off a good shot from distance and another weird jam play from the goalline.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:39 PM   #2903
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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.
I don't think so. It's not just Neal but the effect he has on his linemates. McDavid turned a replacement level player in Chiasson into a 20+ goal forward so you replace Chaisson with a guy like Neal that has pedigree as a goal scorer then it makes life easier for McDavid, RNH, or Draisaitl. I personally don't believe the Flames sniff 100 points if they don't make the acquisition of Lindholm last season as he played a key role in the career seasons of Monahan and Gaudreau.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:41 PM   #2904
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Team PP%. Google.

Unit or team, doesn't much matter. Fact is it wasn't a unit that was above tinkering.
Of course it matters. The fact is that the top unit WAS among the best in the NHL. The Flames were the ONLY team in the entire League with all five players in the top-50 of powerplay production. I would say that was definitely above tinkering, especially to accommodate a disgruntled and disinterested player who was doing nothing else to contribute.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:47 PM   #2905
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I don't think so. It's not just Neal but the effect he has on his linemates. McDavid turned a replacement level player in Chiasson into a 20+ goal forward so you replace Chaisson with a guy like Neal that has pedigree as a goal scorer then it makes life easier for McDavid, RNH, or Draisaitl. I personally don't believe the Flames sniff 100 points if they don't make the acquisition of Lindholm last season as he played a key role in the career seasons of Monahan and Gaudreau.
You say he'll improve the Oilers 19 points but doubt they'll make the playoffs.

If Neal scores 30 goals he'll improve the Oilers a few points.

I would guess that the very best players in the NHL might be worth an additional 5 wins for a team, or 10 points.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:53 PM   #2906
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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.
I agree that I think "fit" was definitely the issue here.

But I don't agree with you that the top line was ever a perfect fit for him. Not on paper and not in practice. That line looked lost and were constantly hemmed in their own zone when together.

I said it early on last season that the Flames didn't have a center that fit the mold of what James Neal needed. A puck dominant center who could draw double teams and find him open. Well now he's got that in McDavid and/or Draisaitl and he's flourishing.

As for why it didn't work out for the Flames, I think Monahan is more of a shooter and our best playmakers are on the opposite wings, not exactly a recipe for success for a guy like Neal. I also think Neal coming in out of shape did not help him and it set him on a difficult course from the get go. He lost his job on the top line and from there, he pouted instead of battling, lost his confidence along the way and never looked good at any point in the season.

That signing hurt the Flames big time because not only did he stink on the ice for the team, but it forced management into a corner and now Neal is lighting it up with our hated divisional rivals. Double whammy.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:56 PM   #2907
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Originally Posted by howard_the_duck View Post
Team PP%. Google.

Unit or team, doesn't much matter. Fact is it wasn't a unit that was above tinkering.
Sure it matters when you're trying to move him onto the top unit. How could it not matter?
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:57 PM   #2908
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Neal

is

not

playing

on

a

line

with

McDavid.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:00 PM   #2909
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...I said it early on last season that the Flames didn't have a center that fit the mold of what James Neal needed. A puck dominant center who could draw double teams and find him open. Well now he's got that in McDavid and/or Draisaitl and he's flourishing...
James Neal is not playing with McDavid and Draisaitl except on the powerplay, and all his goals on the powerplay have thus far been scored in the goal crease. He is not thriving because of time and space drawn by his centremen to get him in the open.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:01 PM   #2910
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Originally Posted by The Cobra View Post
You say he'll improve the Oilers 19 points but doubt they'll make the playoffs.

If Neal scores 30 goals he'll improve the Oilers a few points.

I would guess that the very best players in the NHL might be worth an additional 5 wins for a team, or 10 points.
I think it really depends on a couple things. Neal has essentially usurped Chiasson's position who coincidentally, also had an excellent start last season. If Neal improves upon Chiasson's 22 goals/38 points and Chiasson in a lesser role, out produces Lucic's 20 points from last season. Than theoretically, the Oilers do end up improving. If both Neal and Chiasson combine for roughly 60 points, than I think it's ultimately a wash.

We'll see how their goaltending and defense holds up, if it improves, then they're probably fighting for a playoff position in April.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:02 PM   #2911
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Originally Posted by topfiverecords View Post
neal

is

not

playing

on

a

line

with

mcdavid.
most of his goals are assisted by mcdavid...on the PP
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:03 PM   #2912
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Man my sarcasm meter is just out of wack. I can't tell if you are making a sarcastic point about the Flames being deep or not.
Are you saying that the Flames are not deep? They scored 289 goals with 7 from Neal.

Lindholm turned into one of the top RW in the league. Frolik fit well with Backlund and even though seemed done 2 years ago was great when put back on the 2nd line.

Ryan was brought in as a 3rd line C. Bennett never got even a month run in the top 6 after.

Jankowski seemed poised to replace Backlund as #2C.

Can't be sarcastic about the depth of the Flames.
------

Just imagine the sales pitch that the Flames gave to Neal to get him to sign as a UFA.

Pretty sure it included that he was what the Flames top-6 was missing and he would be on the 1st PP unit.

He gets off to a poor start and he is playing 10-12 minutes a game with depth players that would only get top-6 minutes with 2 injuries to the regular top-6.

Yep Neal was awful, but his treatment here was way below his expectations.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:11 PM   #2913
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Of course it matters. The fact is that the top unit WAS among the best in the NHL. The Flames were the ONLY team in the entire League with all five players in the top-50 of powerplay production. I would say that was definitely above tinkering, especially to accommodate a disgruntled and disinterested player who was doing nothing else to contribute.
Cripes. This is circular.

All this was to say I think Neal can be a contributor on a PP and didn't have the same opportunity to do it here. And we gave him to our arch rival who are using him in that exact same role that he's been successful in his career. And surprise, it's paid early dividends.

And regarding the team PP% as the most important stat, I stand by that. If you drop one of the number 1 unit guys to the number 2 unit and it ELEVATES that unit, Neal was a more than capable stand-in on the top unit and good chance of very little drop off.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:13 PM   #2914
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James Neal is not playing with McDavid and Draisaitl except on the powerplay, and all his goals on the powerplay have thus far been scored in the goal crease. He is not thriving because of time and space drawn by his centremen to get him in the open.

For Lucic to work out the same way for us, I see him also needed to be gifted first unit PP time. Obviously the players that we have now on that unit aren't going to be replaced by a guy like Lucic but that's how the only way I see him potting goals
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:15 PM   #2915
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I don't think so. It's not just Neal but the effect he has on his linemates. McDavid turned a replacement level player in Chiasson into a 20+ goal forward so you replace Chaisson with a guy like Neal that has pedigree as a goal scorer then it makes life easier for McDavid, RNH, or Draisaitl. I personally don't believe the Flames sniff 100 points if they don't make the acquisition of Lindholm last season as he played a key role in the career seasons of Monahan and Gaudreau.
Johnny increased his scoring by 15 points, or 17%.

Johnny increased his ice time by 3%, league ES scoring increased by 2%.

In isolation, Lindholm in that situation maybe had an effect on Johnny by about 10 points.

10-15 extra on ice goals is certainly worth some wins, but hard pressed to suggest 15 standings points. Flames increased depth up and down the lineup last season, change of coach and systems, were far larger drivers of the success.

FWIW, the Oilers had the 9th ranked PP last year at 21%. So there is only so much Neal is marginally improving that. McDavid and Draisal find other dudes to tap in PP pucks. Maybe Neal moves the needle. So far so good, but we arent reinventing the wheel here.

He has two even strength goals so far, they werent exactly skill goals. Lets see what happens as everyone sharpens up. I think Neal is going to struggle to generate much in those situations with his footspeed. Time will tell on that.

As far as standings points is concerned, the gap between the best and worst team last year was 64 points. To suggest James Neal could be worth a quarter of that difference by himself is kind of fascinating.

Roster fit does matter, however, in this particular case, I think you are overselling it.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:18 PM   #2916
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James Neal is not playing with McDavid and Draisaitl except on the powerplay, and all his goals on the powerplay have thus far been scored in the goal crease. He is not thriving because of time and space drawn by his centremen to get him in the open.
4 of his 6 goals have been assisted by McDavid. So he's definitely been a benefactor of the extra time and space that a player like him can create and yes, even on the power play, doesn't have to be just in the open.

If you look at all the goals he's scored so far, he's had the benefit of time and space and a wide open look. From what I remember of last season, all you had to do was play him man to man and he was completely neutralized.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:19 PM   #2917
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Neal always had the potential to bounce back. It's rare for a player to just fall off the face of the Earth like he did. I'm not sad to see him gone and think Lucic fits a better role for us, but the trade always had the potential to work out well for the Oilers.

It probably won't matter in the big picture, but I do think while both teams improve where they needed to, the trade improves the Oilers more.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:21 PM   #2918
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Neal

is

not

playing

on

a

line

with

McDavid.
4 of his 6 goals have been assisted by McDavid.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:23 PM   #2919
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Originally Posted by sa226 View Post
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.

I agree with this, and if it is accurate than the whole Neal-Lucic saga must be worn by Treliving and the rest of the management team. I mean who goes out and signs a guy to such a rich contract when it isn't even certain he will "fit" into the lineup where he is intended to play???? Head scratcher.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:23 PM   #2920
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I hate the trade now for the same reason I hated it back when it happened. It gives a big boost to the Oilers, doesn't matter if all Neal does is cherry pick and score, score is score.

Hopefully Neal will totally go into the tank and score 2 goals for the rest of the season.
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