The Oilers and Flames each decided to take on the other’s salary cap issue on Friday, with Milan Lucic moving to Calgary for James Neal. The Oilers will also retain 12.5% of Lucic’s salary, while Calgary will receive a conditional third-round pick in next year’s draft. Although Neal’s contract is anything but desirable, this trade has to be considered a win for new Oilers’ GM Ken Holland. It seemed as though the Oilers were going to get stuck with Lucic’s salary, or at least be forced to add a significant sweetener (ie. Jesse Puljujarvi) to move it somewhere. Not only that, but the Oilers also end up with the player who seems more likely to turn things around, at least offensively. If you're an Oilers' fan, it probably feels nice to think your team might have won a trade.
For more on the trade from a fantasy perspective, you can check out the fantasy take. I realize that neither player will be a hot commodity in leagues over the coming season, but this was an interesting one to write anyway. Both players are now 31 and have seen better days. However, it will be interesting to see if the trade sparks either player.