'A fresh start': James Neal happy with trade to Oilers, says team will surprise people
Published Wednesday, September 4, 2019 4:02PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 4, 2019 7:09PM MDT
New Edmonton Oilers winger James Neal is happy to have changed sides in the Battle of Alberta.
After one season in Calgary, Neal was traded to Edmonton on July 19 for Milan Lucic, who had two disappointing seasons with the Oilers.
"Things obviously didn’t work out in Calgary for me and same thing here for [Lucic], so a change of scenery for both of us," Neal said. "I'm really happy to be here.
"I got a fresh start here. That's in the past."
Neal opened up about his struggles in Calgary, saying he was tired after deep playoff runs with Nashville and Vegas, as well as moving to a new city.
After scoring more than 20 goals in each of his 10 seasons in the NHL, Neal scored seven goals with Calgary in 2018-19.
"A little hiccup last year and I'll be back to where I know I can be this year.
"Of course I want to be in the Top 6," Neil said. "I've proven I can play in that role. I can put the puck in the net … I know I can score."
Neal is excited to play with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and has high hopes for the Oilers' upcoming season.
"We're going to surprise people and have a great year."