The Nashville Predators will get a big boost on offense next season after acquiring James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pittsburgh will bring back Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling in a two-for-one deal, according to the Predators' Twitter account:
Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides Penguins GM Jim Rutherford's take on the trade:
Neal only played 59 games last season, but he still finished fourth on the team with 61 points. He totaled 27 goals and 34 assists in his sixth year in the league. His best season came in 2011-12, when he amassed 40 goals and 41 assists for the Penguins.
While Neal had been the subject of trade rumors for much of the offseason, the player denied he requested a trade, saying he loved playing in Pittsburgh:
Despite this claim, the 26-year-old forward has been shipped out of town.
Meanwhile, the Predators will send Hornqvist and Spaling to the Penguins, two forwards who combined for 85 points last season. They will hope to improve a squad that barely missed the postseason a year ago.
Ryan Porth of 102.5 The Game believes this is a good move for Nashville:
Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports agrees with the move despite the risk:
Additionally, Willy Daunic of 102.5 The Game notes that Spaling likely was not staying anyway:
This makes it an even better move for the Predators to gain some value on a lost cause, bringing in a player who can be a star when healthy.
With the two sides bringing in players who can help next season, this appears to be a fair trade for both teams that will please everyone involved.
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