Joined: Mar 2018
Okay few things I see here. Lucic is owed less, than what Neal is. Lucic was a front loaded deal, so the signing bonus that Lucic was owed was paid by Edmonton. 2nd thing. Lucic might not be great, but all things considered maybe a move to a new style of play helps Lucic out, I mean he might not get backup to previous form, but its not at all out of the realm of possibilities that Calgary gets some sort of production out of Lucic. The other big thing that needs to be considered is that Lucic has a Modified No Trade Clause of a 8-Team No Trade List at the start of the 2021-22 Season. So by all means he could very well be heading into a trade in 2 years, so basically Calgary gets out of both contracts then are pretty much freed of the cap that was being paid. However Neal being traded to Edmonton might help as Neal could very possibly be carried yes, but put solid production up offensively with McDavid. Which is a plus side to Edmonton, and Lucic again could get more than 10 Goals of Production, but I think he won't and with Neal on the line of McDavid think he could get 21 goals. So Calgary gets a good pick out of it in a Loaded 2020 Draft Class.
So what it comes down to is Calgary gets cap space Lucic was Top Heavy, compared to Neal who is spread out evenly and was guaranteed the entire contract which means 23 Million. As for Lucic he has a total of 8.5 Million in Signing Bonuses, and base salaries are 7.5 Million. Which goes to 16 Million. So Calgary gets about 7 Million Shaved off their books, and to add onto that Lucic was also retained 750,000 over the next 4 Years of his contract which is another 3 Million off the books for the next few years. Brings the total down to 13 Million compared to 23 Million. So where Neal might be the better player, Calgary definitely got a great deal out of this cutting 10 Million out of the books.
So even when people believe Edmonton won this deal by a mile, they really didn't it was more of Calgary articulately planning Cap out so they have room next summer for other players, and 2 years down the road when his contract isn't out of the question of being traded because it won't be that much the next year because of the due salary of 3.5 Million when his 8-Team No Trade List kicks in, and 2 you would most likely see Calgary paying for that 2.5 Million Signing Bonus during the 2021-22 Offseason so bringing his contract down to a total of 6.5 Million for the next 2 seasons. So I think it was sort of smart by Calgary, it gives them some room later on when players are on expiring contracts. Production wise they aren't really that much different. James Neal had 19 Points in 63 Games, so for the season averages out to about a 24 point pace. Lucic had 20 in 79, and he was on pace for just shy in numbers of 21 Points at 20.75. So basically Calgary made a smart move to shave cap as for Edmonton they might get better production, but definitely took some cap brunt on as they are now paying for 23 Million on James Neal which is all Guaranteed, and 3 Million that they retained over the next 4 Years. So 26 Million to 13 Million in total. Calgary wins this deal.