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Hello, hello! Welcome, my friends, to another edition of the mailbag where I’ve taken your questions and turned them into a little bit of free learnin’ on a Monday morning. This week, we look at the question that everyone seems to be asking about: who won the @Milan Lucic for @James Neal trade? If you want in on next week’s mailbag, just fire me an email at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk. Until then, I encourage you to sit back, relax, and waste a few minutes of company time. Have a good week, everybody.

Apr 11, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing James Neal (18) during the face off against the Colorado Avalanche during the third period in game one of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

1) Craig asks – What were your first thoughts on the Lucic for Neal trade? Do you see a clear winner in the deal?

Jason Gregor:

The Oilers needed another top-six scorer. Neal has a much better track record of scoring goals than Lucic. He fills a big hole in Edmonton that I don’t think Lucic was capable of filling.

Robin Brownlee:

The clear winner in terms of the contracts is Edmonton. Not close. How it unfolds on the ice, we have to see. In those terms, I can see the swap helping both teams.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

My first thoughts were “NO F***ING WAY!” and my second thoughts were “Ken Holland robbed them!”. Oilers are clear winners. It’s as simple as that.

Christian Pagnani:

The Oilers actually win a trade. I was shocked and assumed the pick was at least a second. I thought they had to have retained a million, but both draft pick and salary retained are negligible.

Baggedmilk:

I still can’t believe it happened tbh. A clear win for the Oilers.

Apr 6, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing James Neal (18) screens in front of Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen (19) during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

2) Stephanie asks – I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a conditional pick quite like the one attached to the Lucic/Neal trade (Neal has to get 21+ goals and 10 more than Lucic) and I’d like to know everyone’s guess about whether or not they think Calgary will get the pick?

Jason Gregor:

I’ve never seen anything like that. I think Neal will score 21 goals, probably a few more. If Neal scores 26 goals I think Calgary will get the pick for sure. I could see Lucic scoring 11-15 goals in Calgary.

Robin Brownlee:

I think Calgary will get the pick because I see Neal getting 21-plus and I don’t see Milan hitting double digits.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I think they will get the pick, but it will be close. My personal over/under for James Neal is 20.5 goals and my number for Lucic is 9.5 goals. If Neal gets time on the top powerplay unit and clicks with Connor McDavid, I think he’ll crush the 20 goal mark. If he’s on the second line with Nugent-Hopkins and isn’t on the top PP unit, then it will be close. I have faith in a bounceback for Neal though, which is why I’m saying the Flames will get the pick.

Christian Pagnani:

I’m not sure I have either. I think Calgary just missed out on the pick. Lucic gets something like 6 goals and Neal gets 15.

Baggedmilk:

It definitely is a weird conditional pick, but I also think that if the Oilers have to pay up then they won’t really care because it’ll mean Neal is filling the net.

3) Stephen asks – With Lucic being traded, the Oilers now have an open spot for a player to wear an “A” on their jersey. Who do you think they will give it to?

Jason Gregor:

They rotated it through a few players last year. Maybe they add no one and just keep it on RNH and Larsson. If they want to add in another player, I’d guess it would be Draisaitl. But I don’t think they have to. I’m not a huge fan of multiple Associate Captains.

Robin Brownlee:

I’d be fine with Draisaitl or Nurse.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I remember listening to Ken Hitchcock on The Bob McCown Show when Ken Holland was hired and he mentioned how players like Darnell Nurse, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Leon Draisaitl are hungry to become bigger leaders and he felt like he saw that last season in his time behind the bench. One of Nurse or Draisaitl will get it and I don’t have a preference or an opinion beyond that simply because I’m not in the room.

Christian Pagnani:

I don’t know how much this stuff really matters, but I won’t be surprised if it’s Darnell Nurse.

Baggedmilk:

Easy. Leon will get it.

4) Greg asks – Now that the big trade is done, do you think Ken Holland is finished reshaping the roster for the summer or do you believe there is more coming?

Jason Gregor:

He is still looking for a possible 3C…And of course the status of Jesse Puljujarvi. He is in no rush to trade him. If a good deal is there he will make the deal, and teams have expressed interest. We see more trades in September than we do in August usually, so I think the Puljujarvi trade talk among other teams might pick back up in September.

Robin Brownlee:

No, he’s not finished. Can still use a third-line centre and a winger.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I think he’ll look at adding a cheap 3C option, maybe even on a PTO, but that will be about it. He’s tight for cap space and I don’t think he wants to trade Kris Russell or Sam Gagner so there really isn’t an option for him to make more space either. A cheap third-line centre and maybe he makes a move with Jesse Puljujarvi, but that’s it.

Christian Pagnani:

I don’t think there’s much more. Maybe a Jesse Puljujarvi trade for a draft pick or middle-six forward, it feels like that would have been completed by now if it was possible. The activity period for roster movement is basically over so this seems like the roster barring a few PTOs.

Baggedmilk:

I think there will be some PTOs closer to camp and I also think that Jesse Puljujarvi will be back with the Oilers. Now watch him get traded before this gets posted on Monday morning.

5) Vetinari asks – Puckpedia has the @Edmonton Oilers at about $2.538M below the salary cap as of July 25th—how would you spend that if you could add one player (UFA/trade) before training camp or would you bank it instead based on what’s out there now?

Jason Gregor:

Derick Brassard on a one-year deal worth $2 million.

Robin Brownlee:

Trade, but no rush on that right now. No UFA’s remaining that are worth an overpay.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Well, if you go out and sign a 3C, you can probably waive Kyle Brodziak and create an extra $1 million in space. But still, you need to be mindful of a bonus for Mike Smith and maybe even ELC bonuses for someone like Evan Bouchard or Tyler Benson. With all of that considered, I think Ken Holland will stay quiet for the rest of the summer and bring in a player or two on a PTO before camp.

Christian Pagnani:

I’d try and move Kris Russell and use that money on another forward, winger or centre.

Baggedmilk:

PTO everyone.

MAILBAG PRESENTED BY DAYTONA HOMES

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