Nashville Predators acquire RW James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins
Entering the 2014 off-season, the Nashville Predators found themselves in dire need of offense. With one bold move, they got the help they needed. They dealt RW Patric Hornqvist, one of their best scorers of their short franchise history, and C Nick Spaling to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winger James Neal.
— NHL (@NHL) June 28, 2014
Neal scored 40 goals for the Penguins in 2011-12, picked up 21 goals in 40 games of the lockout-shortened ’12-’13 season, and racked up 27 goals and 61 points in 59 contests last year. In short, he offers a huge offensive boost for a Predators team that ranked 19th in the NHL last year in goal-scoring while missing the postseason for the second straight year.
Spaling will compete for the fourth-line center role in Pittsburgh, while Hornqvist, a two-way forward with solid offensive skills, will likely figure somewhere into the Penguins’ top-nine forward group.