The Calgary Flames have signed James Neal to a five-year contract worth $28.75 million. Neal enjoyed notching his 10th straight 20-goal year this past season, tallying 25 times for the Vegas Golden Knights. That’s what Neal is a pure sniper. He scored the first goal in Golden Knights history and the winning goal in each of their first three games. A lot of teams would love to add a player the skill-set of Neal of course. I think he has made a smart choice in Calgary.
“For me, I want to win,” Neal said. “I’ve been really close the last few years to winning a Stanley Cup. Once you get a taste you want more. We have great goaltending in [Mike Smith], and we have great guys up front and a good D-corps. I feel like we’re really close to winning, and for me, I hope I can be that little piece that they’ve been missing.
Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and James Neal. That is going to score more than a few goals.
“I’m excited about those two guys for sure,” Neal said. “That’s definitely a big reason I wanted to come to Calgary. Those two guys are unbelievable players. They make everybody around them better. And like I said with the goaltending and D-corps, we’re really close to winning. Hopefully, I’m that piece that can push us over the edge and bring us a championship in Calgary.”
“He fills a specific need, which is a top-six right winger,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said. “It’s an area that we’ve been looking to address for a while. He fits a spot that we have open. He’s a big body, power-play guy, scores five-on-five.
“When you look at a specific area going into this offseason, we wanted to look at our forward group and address some areas … depth at center ice, adding a right-shot at center ice, looking at our right wing position higher in the lineup, and creating overall depth in the organization. He certainly addresses some of that.”
The Flames have had a remarkable offseason. For me, those types of moves make The Calgary Flames a playoff team. Neal should score 40 goals this season.
“In the end, coming back and playing in a Canadian city and playing for the Flames and seeing how close they are to winning … they have all the right pieces … it’s going to be a good fit,” Neal said.