The James Neal – Milan Lucic trade is still a little hard to believe, but it did in fact happen. While Neal had a quiet debut in the Edmonton Oilers’ narrow win on Wednesday, Lucic made an impact in the Calgary Flames’ season-opener against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.
You won’t find a consensus about Lucic having a positive impact, though.
Was it a “sucker punch?” Was Lucic merely sticking up for his teammate? Maybe it was something in between?
Either way, Lucic was whistled with a fighting major, instigator penalty, and a misconduct. Zadorov was somewhat strangely given a fighting major and a boarding penalty.
One can debate the “deterrent” factor of a player like Lucic all day, but ultimately it really is that: a subjective discussion.