Edmonton Oilers: A James Neal Buyout Wouldn’t Hurt The Team

James Neal #18, Edmonton Oilers Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
James Neal #18, Edmonton Oilers Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Edmonton Oilers are going to need all the cap space in the world while they try to re-sign some pretty critical players for the franchise. One player they could buy out to make some space is James Neal.

James Neal is currently signed for the next two seasons with a contract of 5.75 a year. This deal is not great for the Oilers, and Neal has proven in the past that he is definitely not worth the cost. He had ten points this season and played in two playoff games putting up no points.

The Oilers do not need a contract like James Neal’s on their team moving forward, and they might be better off buying him out. Should the Oilers buy out Neal this off-season they will have a cap hit of 1.9 million counts against them for the next four seasons. Honestly, that is not great, but it does save them almost four million for the next two seasons.

No matter what the Oilers do, they are going to be in a tough spot. They need money for next summer when players like Darnell Nurse, Ethan Bear, and Jesse Puljujarvi, are all off the books. So maybe buying out neal now will help put them in a better position down the line.

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The Oilers probably wouldn’t miss James Neal the player if they use the money right.

The bottom six is wide open, and James Neal is not going to factor into it. Neal only got into two of the four playoff games this past month. The team did not see him as a viable option to help them succeed down the stretch, and if they cannot count on him in the playoffs why keep him around for the next two seasons anyway?

Edmonton is projected to have around 22 million in cap space for next season, but that money is going to go quickly thanks to how many critical players are in need of a contract.