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Oilers to Give Flames Third-Round Pick as Part of Neal Trade

As per a ruling by the NHL on Friday, the Oilers will, in fact, give Calgary a third-round pick after all.

James Neal Milan Lucic

Even though it seemed like the debate over conditional picks had been settled, apparently things were still up in the air. And, for Oiler fans who thought the early end to the season would finalize the trade specifics of James Neal for Milan Lucic swap, it turns out, that trade wasn’t actually finalized until today.

The Edmonton Oilers will, in fact, give Calgary a third-round pick and satisfy the condition of the original deal.

Last summer, the two teams made a trade that saw the Oilers move Milan Lucic and a conditional 3rd round pick to the Flames for James Neal. If Neal scored 21 or more goals, part of the condition would be met. Closing the season early saw Neal only pot 19.

But, as TSN and other outlets are reporting, the Oilers will transfer their own third round pick in either 2020 or 2021 to complete the deal, per the NHL’s ruling.

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, the NHL issued a ruling late Friday and said Edmonton will have until the start of the 3rd round in the 2020 draft to decide which pick they will give the Flames.

NHL Is Walking Slippery Slope

It’s hard to understand where the NHL is coming from here. Obviously, they are prorating Neal’s scoring over the season to come up with their numbers but the condition wasn’t met. There’s no proof it ever would have been.

In fact, Neal was coming off an injury and playing very few minutes in the final games of the season. There’s a good chance he might not have hit those goal totals and forcing the Oilers to surrender a pick has got to be upsetting for GM Ken Holland.

The Oilers likely already felt a bit choked having to be the highest-seeded play-in team in this year’s road to the playoffs. Where was the prorated calculation on that?

Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now says there is no appeal option for Edmonton. He writes:

The ruling is the ruling regardless of what the MOU says. There is No Appeal. But…does this mean that Leon Draisaitl now officially finishes the season with 50-77-127…

Look for the Oilers to hold on to the 3rd in 2020…and recoup the 3rd in 2021, with another deal.

NHL Amended Other Deals

As per Johnston, “The NHL has also amended conditions in the TOR/LA Feb. 5 trade: TheLeafs owe the LA Kings a 2021 2nd-rd pick if they win their qualifying round series and Jack Campbell gets two or more wins, or if they re-sign Kyle Clifford for next season. Otherwise, it’s a 2021 3rd-rounder.”

Next: Oilers GM Ken Holland Provides Update On Puljujarvi Talks

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