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Forums :: Blog World :: Todd Cordell: Where should James Neal play when he returns?
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Todd Cordell
Location: Barrie, ON
Joined: 02.10.2014

Mar 14 @ 12:22 PM ET
Todd Cordell: Where should James Neal play when he returns?
Carl317
Vegas Golden Knights
Joined: 08.26.2018

Mar 14 @ 12:35 PM ET
When Neal returns he should be playing back in Vegas, where he is beloved and where he seemed to be very happy and comfortable. He gave Vegas some edge to the game that was gone after he left. Vegas has suffered for that loss. He shoulda taken the money and 5 years offered by Vegas. He wouldn't be having the cruddy year he's had in Calgary.
cnknut
Calgary Flames
Joined: 01.26.2012

Mar 14 @ 12:35 PM ET

Maybe press box lol Thx Todd
TandA4Flames
Calgary Flames
Joined: 05.10.2010

Mar 14 @ 12:42 PM ET
I have a feeling Neal’s going to turn it up in the playoffs.
But, yea, Todd. Starting Neal on the 4th line in place of Hathaway is the right place to begin.
bsimms
Calgary Flames
Location: Calgary
Joined: 10.25.2013

Mar 14 @ 12:47 PM ET
Agree Hathaway out.
riceroni
Ottawa Senators
Location: e5, ON
Joined: 07.29.2009

Mar 14 @ 12:53 PM ET
Ottawa
eNDSo
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: PA
Joined: 06.20.2016

Mar 14 @ 12:58 PM ET
I didnt think Neal was going to decline so hard. All he does is snipe, he has always been slow. You'd think that type of game would hold up with age.
Xizord
Montreal Canadiens
Location: I am Eklund, QC
Joined: 01.03.2007

Mar 14 @ 12:58 PM ET
I have a feeling Neal’s going to turn it up in the playoffs.
But, yea, Todd. Starting Neal on the 4th line in place of Hathaway is the right place to begin.

- TandA4Flames


yes that's called wishful thining
Crushers68
New Jersey Devils
Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
Joined: 02.17.2009

Mar 14 @ 1:13 PM ET
I didnt think Neal was going to decline so hard. All he does is snipe, he has always been slow. You'd think that type of game would hold up with age.
- eNDSo


I don't think he's declining, but rather mis-cast. He's a sniper who needs to be paired with top play makers not 3rd and 4th liners
itwasin
Location: Halloween 1950 - March 4 1994, AB
Joined: 09.28.2013

Mar 14 @ 1:32 PM ET
Is it realistic to expect him to be enthusiastic about being in the bottom 6? Who thinks he wouldn't slow down any of the Flames lines? They're all faster than him.
Truth is we don't need him and imo he doesn't need it spelled out for him. So put yourself in his position. Would you bust your butt at 31 to prove you can make it as a 4th liner after the career he's had?
He's still got value - just not on the Flames.
He's probably good insurance against a top 6 injury but beyond that? I just don't see how he can be happy in the bottom 6.
And what would that do to the team's chemistry if one of them is removed and replaced with an unhappy veteran who really doesn't have anything to prove?
Hunkulese
Calgary Flames
Location: QC
Joined: 09.30.2006

Mar 14 @ 2:02 PM ET
He shoulda taken the money and 5 years offered by Vegas.
- Carl317


Vegas didn't even bother making a formal offer.

Neal should replace Czarnik or no one. Taking the one guy on the team who plays with an edge every night doesn't make a lot of sense, especially since Hathaway is the perfect kind of player you want on your fourth line. He's also scored more goals than Neal this year, so the argument that Neal gives them a better chance to score doesn't hold much water either.

Maybe try and get him to retire by sending him to Stockton.
Clyde334
Calgary Flames
Location: OG loves Nenshi!! Nenshi sucks!!, AB
Joined: 06.19.2016

Mar 14 @ 2:06 PM ET
Todd Cordell: Where should James Neal play when he returns?
- ToddCordellCGY

Stockton!
MABster
Calgary Flames
Location: Canada, AB
Joined: 10.02.2006

Mar 14 @ 2:07 PM ET
To Hathaway's defense, he's one of the only guys on the team who will throw a hard bodycheck-- and on a consistent basis, I might add-- and he's very good on the penalty kill. Sam Bennett is about the only other guy who will hit someone on occasion.
A team like Vegas who is near or at the top of the hits per game stats is going to wear you out and you need to respond in kind. Tkachuk is only going to be a net-front pest, not a hard on the boards guy.

I say that Frolik is expendable on the second line so put Neal there again. You also don't crush what spirit has has left by telling him that he's going to be playing under 10 minutes on the fourth line. I'm sure that he's motivated to succeed and prove that he can belong on a better line than the 4th.
Past results there not withstanding, hopefully he can dial up the intensity now.
dal_johnson
Calgary Flames
Joined: 03.09.2006

Mar 14 @ 3:03 PM ET
I'd replace Mangiapane. The kid has been good, but I have to lean on experience and a need for size in the playoffs.

I think Hathaway's edge will be valuable as well as his penalty killing ability.

Then I would have him and Frolik swap between the 2nd and 4th line based on the needs of the game and who they are playing. If they need more offence (assuming that Neal will be the playoff presence that he is hoped to be) then he will have more success there. If they need more of a defensive presence out of that line then put Frolik back on it.

quinneroma
Calgary Flames
Location: Calgary, AB
Joined: 07.26.2015

Mar 14 @ 3:10 PM ET
He's had his chance. Bring him in for Hathaway or injury only. I'd rather have Dube or Quine in instead of him anyways though. Hopefully Treliving can somehow trick a team to take him and Brodie for a 4th round pick at the draft, and maybe someone in the 3-4 million salary range they don't want???!!!
FLAM3SFAN
Calgary Flames
Location: ON
Joined: 03.13.2013

Mar 14 @ 3:58 PM ET
everyone and their mother knows it should be hathaway coming out of the lineup, but I don't see that happening as he seems to be the token "heavy" forward in the flames lineup

As much as neal as neal has sucked this year, he is still a proven playoff vet who has a ton of experience in the playoffs. Neal at his worst still contributes more than Hathaway at his best
fry
Calgary Flames
Location: Calgary, AB
Joined: 02.11.2007

Mar 14 @ 4:54 PM ET
everyone and their mother knows it should be hathaway coming out of the lineup, but I don't see that happening as he seems to be the token "heavy" forward in the flames lineup

As much as neal as neal has sucked this year, he is still a proven playoff vet who has a ton of experience in the playoffs. Neal at his worst still contributes more than Hathaway at his best

- FLAM3SFAN


Yeah, let’s go ahead and screw around with the 8th best pk % in the league just so Austin Czarnik can post a good corsi.

Neal should take more time off than he needs and maybe he’ll actually be able to shoot the puck like he used to when he comes back. He’s been useless this year. Doesn’t even run over people anymore.
DuranDuran
Calgary Flames
Location: Quito
Joined: 09.29.2015

Mar 14 @ 4:57 PM ET
I'd replace Mangiapane. The kid has been good, but I have to lean on experience and a need for size in the playoffs.

I think Hathaway's edge will be valuable as well as his penalty killing ability.

Then I would have him and Frolik swap between the 2nd and 4th line based on the needs of the game and who they are playing. If they need more offence (assuming that Neal will be the playoff presence that he is hoped to be) then he will have more success there. If they need more of a defensive presence out of that line then put Frolik back on it.

- dal_johnson


I like the idea of taking out Hathaway. Neil is also a big dude that can command respect and put the puck in the net.

With both Ryan and Mang using thier speed and doing the dirty work I like the idea of Neal parked in the slot. Could make for a really strong 4th line.

Give him a chance, the guy is a professional and wants to win.
TandA4Flames
Calgary Flames
Joined: 05.10.2010

Mar 14 @ 5:43 PM ET
Haha Fry. I knew you’d get upset over the suggestion of taking out Hathaway to get Neal some play time.
Good corsi or not, Czarnik has been creating good scoring chances for himself and his line mates since he got put in the lineup to replace Neal. He’s taken advantage of his opportunity. He shouldn’t be punished. True, Hathaway has done well on the PK but that’s only a small % of time in a 60 min game. Others can fill that spot, but in the overall scope, Neal is still more likely to put the puck on the net in those 60 mins. He needs to get in and get some confidence going before the POs.
fry
Calgary Flames
Location: Calgary, AB
Joined: 02.11.2007

Mar 14 @ 5:56 PM ET
Haha Fry. I knew you’d get upset over the suggestion of taking out Hathaway to get Neal some play time.
Good corsi or not, Czarnik has been creating good scoring chances for himself and his line mates since he got put in the lineup to replace Neal. He’s taken advantage of his opportunity. He shouldn’t be punished. True, Hathaway has done well on the PK but that’s only a small % of time in a 60 min game. Others can fill that spot, but in the overall scope, Neal is still more likely to put the puck on the net in those 60 mins. He needs to get in and get some confidence going before the POs.

- TandA4Flames


Agree he needs time and confidence. Frolik can slot in there on the PK, but that's essentially ensuring that we can't play the 3m line on the shift after a penalty. Most likely a faceoff in our defensive zone..


It's the stretch and then the playoffs. Someone will probably get injured and this will clear up. Special teams are too important in the playoffs to mess around with after running with the same two forward units all season.
jessehub
Calgary Flames
Location: BC
Joined: 06.25.2010

Mar 14 @ 10:04 PM ET
When is he even coming back? What is the injury?

Put him in for Brodie.
tincup
Calgary Flames
Location: AB
Joined: 07.21.2006

Mar 14 @ 10:13 PM ET
When is he even coming back? What is the injury?

Put him in for Brodie.

- jessehub



Playing with Gio ? Then we'll trade him in the off season as a top pairing dman !
Hunkulese
Calgary Flames
Location: QC
Joined: 09.30.2006

Mar 14 @ 11:38 PM ET
So let's say Neal doesn't get better. Would you rather they packaged him with a 2nd or 3rd round pick this offseason just to get rid of him, or gave Seattle a 1st to agree to take him in the expansion draft?
jessehub
Calgary Flames
Location: BC
Joined: 06.25.2010

Mar 15 @ 12:28 AM ET
Playing with Gio ? Then we'll trade him in the off season as a top pairing dman !
- tincup


Haha exactly 😝
jessehub
Calgary Flames
Location: BC
Joined: 06.25.2010

Mar 15 @ 12:31 AM ET
So let's say Neal doesn't get better. Would you rather they packaged him with a 2nd or 3rd round pick this offseason just to get rid of him, or gave Seattle a 1st to agree to take him in the expansion draft?
- Hunkulese


No to the 1st but if he doesn’t show up at all for the rest of the season I’m fine with packaging him with 2nd to get rid his salary.
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