Former Nashville Predators Star James Neal Included In Bizzarre Trade

(Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

A familiar face for Nashville Predators fans has just been included in one of the strangest trades I have ever seen.

James Neal, who was a crucial part of the Nashville Predators Stanley Cup Finals run in 2017, has just been shipped off to the Edmonton Oilers, with the Calgary Flames receiving Milan Lucic and a conditional third round pick in exchange.

That has to be one of the strangest trades I have ever seen, as it is a swap of two of the worst contracts in the league by two heated rivals.

After all, haven’t seen a trade involving the two combatants of the Battle of Alberta since 2013, when Ladislav Smid headed to Calgary while Laurent Brossoit headed to Edmonton.

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The thing that baffles me most about these trades is that these teams have already given up on the men they spent loads of money on and it proves how crippling free agency really is.

Both of the two players will be free agents after the 2022-23 season, with Lucic entering year four of his deal while Neal is entering year two.

This season was an uncharacteristically bad season, compared to the rest of their careers, for both players, with Neal having seven goals and 19 points while Milan Lucic had six goals and 20 points.

Both players have seen fairly decent seasons recently, as Lucic last hit the 50 point mark in his first year in Edmonton in 2016-17 while James Neal was a 20 goal scorer and a crucial part of the Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights teams that made it to the Stanley Cup finals in the two years before he signed his deal with Calgary.

James Neal also had a 31 goal season for the Nashville Predators in the year before the Stanley Cup run, which led fans to believe that he could’ve been effective going into his thirties.

This trade is a wildcard however, as both of these players have the potential to bounce back and play like their former selves, but I honestly don’t think that it’s likely.

It will take a while to see which team will come on top in this trade, if there even is a winner here, as both of these players are trending in the wrong direction, and with both of them in their thirties, a bounceback is unlikely.

Next. Preds Dodged A Bullet By Letting Go of Neal. dark

What we do know is that the Nashville Predators sure did dodge a bullet by letting the Vegas Golden Knights select Neal in the Expansion Draft, pretty much eliminating the thought of the Predators being the team to sign him to that ridiculous deal.