Calgary Flames Sign James Neal

James Neal
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Unrestricted free agent James Neal has signed with the Calgary Flames. Neal signed a five-year, $28.75 million contract, which carries a $5.75 million cap hit per season.

NHL free agent frenzy

James Neal Signs With the Calgary Flames

Neal was selected 33rd overall by Dallas in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He has played ten seasons in the NHL split between the Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights. Throughout his career, Neal has shown he is an elite goal scorer in the league. He has scored 20 or more goals in every season as a pro. His best output was a 40 goal season the Pittsburgh Penguins. Before coming to Vegas, Neal was in Nashville for three seasons and scored over 30 goals in the 2015-2016 season. In his career, Neal has scored 263 goals and 495 points in 703 games.

Neal is an outstanding top-six winger who will provide lots of offence for the Flames. Selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, Neal was thought to be on the move before the season began. Vegas, however, had a storybook season winning the Pacific division with 109 points and decided to keep Neal. Neal, for his part, scored 25 goals and 44 points for the surprising Golden Knights.  He also contributed six goals and five assists for 11 points in 20 games during the Golden Knights playoff run.

Possession wise, Neal is just over 51.5% Corsi which is similar to where he was in 2016-17. He has a relative Corsi of -1.87. For his career, his possession is 53.7% which is outstanding. Despite a lot of his numbers coming during even strength, he’s also a big help on the power play. He had eight power-play goals in 2016-17 but had just five this past season.

Playoff wise, he always shows up no matter what team he’s played for over the years. In his playoff career, Neal has scored 31 goals and 55 points in 100 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Where He Fits In

While it is not clear where he will play, Neal should slot into a top 6 role with the Flames. Based on his track record, Neal will give Calgary an offensive boost.


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