What's The Deal, James Neal?


Every year there is a situation in the NHL which completely baffles me. This year, it is hands down, James Neal.

Coming into the summer of 2018, there were only a handful of guys as sought after during free agency as James Neal. Perennial 20-30 goal scorers are not exactly falling from trees around the NHL, but that is exactly what James Neal is.


At the veteran age of 30 and a UFA this past summer, multiple teams were rumoured to have interest in the high scoring left winger, however Calgary was rumoured early to be pulling out all the stops to acquire Neal.

Everything to this point makes perfect sense to me. What confuses me is, I can't imaging the pitch was:

"James, come to Calgary, you'll be a staple on our 3rd line from day one with line mates that are barley NHLers, we'll drop your ice time by over 2 mins a game, oh and to sweeten the pot, you'll get second unit power play time"

I mean, obviously the Flames are deep at LW with the likes of budding superstars Johnny Gaudreau & Matthew Tkachuk, but James also knew this prior to signing.

Was this simply all about the money and term or did Neal fall into a situation he wasn't planning for?

As I mention before, this one is a head scratcher for me. I'd love to hear so opinions from all of you.

Did "The Real Deal" James Neal get a raw deal? or is he exactly where he wanted?

Thanks for reading.


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