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Lucic agreed to trade to Flames after talking to Iginla

Former teammate provided forward advice in decision to leave Oilers

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Milan Lucic got an assist to join the Calgary Flames from their leading goal-scorer.

Lucic was traded to Calgary for James Neal on Friday, but the 31-year-old with a no-movement clause in his contract had to agree to leave the Edmonton Oilers. That's where Jarome Iginla, who played 16 seasons for the Flames, comes in.

"I had a really good talk with Jarome," Lucic told the Flames website. "He told me what a great hockey town Calgary is, how much the people are behind the Flames. It's a fan base that loves seeing effort. They obviously want to win, but regardless, they love the heart-and-soul guys, the guys who give their all, who don't compromise, which I like to think speaks to the way I play."

 

[RELATED: Lucic traded to Flames by Oilers for Neal | 2019-20 NHL Trade Tracker]

 

Iginla scored 525 goals in 1,219 games for Calgary. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2012-13 season, and that offseason signed with the Boston Bruins as a free agent. He scored 30 goals in his one season with Boston as Lucic's teammate. 

"Jarome and I got to know each other really well the year we played together in Boston," Lucic said. "We were linemates, we shared a lot of stories, went out to dinner together a lot. … I like to think he knows me pretty well and that's why he took time out of his day to give me a call and help me with my decision. And he did help me make up my mind.

"I'm just grateful that I'm friends with one of the guys who I idolize most and that now I get to play for the team that he was most famous playing for." 

Video: Oilers trade Milan Lucic to the Flames for James Neal

Iginla last played in the NHL for the Kings in 2016-17 and had his No. 12 retired by the Flames last season.

"I'm excited, as a Calgary Flames fan and as a friend of his," Iginla told the website. "I had the chance to play with him, we were linemates and we've kept in touch. For whatever reasons, it didn't work out in Edmonton. I don't know why. But as a fit in Calgary? A great guy, good teammate, and they don't have a player like him.

"... Last year watching the Flames, it looked like they had a lot of fun playing together, they truly enjoyed each other's company, were happy for each other. He can thrive in that atmosphere. He'll add to that culture. I think the fans in Calgary are going to enjoy him too."

Lucic has four seasons remaining on the seven-year contract he signed with the Oilers on July 1, 2016, after playing one season with the Los Angeles Kings. He played his first eight NHL seasons for the Bruins and won the Stanley Cup in 2011.

"You're always aware of where he is when you're out there against him," Calgary captain Mark Giordano told the website. "To be honest, he's gotten me a couple times in my career with some big hits.

"He's a presence out there. He's a guy, that when you play against him, you know where he's at all times. And he's a guy that can get to the front of the net and make things happen too. He plays the game hard and he plays it the right way."

Lucic scored 39 goals in 243 games with Edmonton, falling from 23 his first season to 10 then six.

"Initially, I thought no way -- but no way -- am I going to the other side of the Battle of Alberta," Lucic said. "But after talking to (Flames general manager) Brad [Treliving], talking to (coach) Bill [Peters], talking to (assistant) Geoff Ward, who I spent seven years with in Boston, and some guys who'd played in Calgary, it seemed to sound like a place I wanted to go, where the fit was right."

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