In a shocking turn of events, the Calgary Flames were eliminated from the first round of the postseason in just five games by the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, and the dust has finally started to settle for the Canadian team.
However, forward James Neal will probably get all worked up again following the comments made by Flames general manager Brad Treliving on Monday.
On Friday as the Flames faced elimination, Neal was made a healthy scratch in hopes that Calgary could keep their postseason alive. He just seven goals and 19 points in 63 regular season games and was nothing the Flames expected him to be.
That’s when Treliving said: “I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to say this isn’t how we projected things to go.”
Neal signed a five-year, $28.75 million contract with the Flames last July after topping the 20-goal mark for a 10th straight time in his career with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Of course, it’s not what happened with Calgary and both Neal and Treliving will need to think about what to do moving forward. However, the veteran player maintains he wants to remain a top-six player and admits he did not produce like he should have.
“I want to be a top-six guy who is counted on to score goals,” he told Kristen Anderson of Postmedia. “I want to be an impact player. I’ve scored 20-plus goals in every one of my years except this year. I know I can get back to being the type of player.”
“I’ve never had to go through that [being a healthy scratch] in my career. That was a tough pill to swallow. For me, I think, going forward, you take it. Be honest with yourself… and come back and have something to prove. “It was a tough year, for sure. We’ve got a great group of guys here. It’s tough when you’re not producing like you should be.”
Neal needs to make a change or get back to the way things were before the move to Calgary if he wants his GM to remain patient with him…