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The Canadian clubs have swapped veteran wingers, with Calgary also getting a conditional 2020 third-round pick in the deal. 

By Kristen Nelson
July 19, 2019

It's a swap of the veterans up in Canada.

The Calgary Flames have sent James Neal to the Edmonton Oilers for Milan Lucic and a conditional third-round pick in the 2020 draft, the teams announced Friday. Neal and Lucic, who are both 31-year-old wingers, had underwhelming seasons in 2018–19. 

Neal signed a five-year, $28.75 million contract with Calgary last year, but had just seven goals and 12 assists in 63 games, both career lows. Neal is now with his sixth NHL team in his 11-year career, having previously played for the Stars, Penguins, Predators and Golden Knights before joining the Flames.

Lucic had a similarly disappointing season, tallying six goals and 14 assists in 79 games. Edmonton will reportedly retain 12.5% of Lucic's contract, a seven-year, $42 million deal he signed with the Oilers in 2016, which runs through the 2022–23 season. 

While the Oilers were the second worst team in the Western Conference last season, the Flames finished best in the west before getting knocked out by the Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs in just five games. Lucic, who previously played eight years in Boston and a season in Los Angeles before Edmonton, said he talked with former Flame and Bruin Jarome Iginla before the deal was complete and had already posted a picture of his new jersey shortly before the trade was officially announced. 

"Missing the playoffs three of the last four years … I don't want to do that anymore," Lucic said. "As I said, I want to be playing meaningful hockey on a night-to-night basis and with the excitement and energy I can bring I think this will revitalize me and help this team take the next step."

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