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LIVE FROM PHILADELPHIA: Preds acquire James Neal from Pens

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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Nashville Predators have acquire James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Other reports have Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling going the other way.

James Neal scored 40 goals and tallied 81 points in his best season, 2011-12. He was a point-per-game player last year, registering 61 points in 59 games.

Hornqvist is a former 30-goal scorer and is the heart and soul of that forward corps. Spaling was a pending restricted free agent.

We will have a full post with comments from General Manager David Poile later tonight. For now, the full press release is below.


Nashville, Tenn. (June 27, 2014) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired proven, consistent goal-scoring forward James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.

Neal, 26 (9/3/87), tallied 40 goals in 2011-12, and was on a 40-goal pace in the shortened 2012-13 season (21 goals in 40 games) and averaged better than a point per game (61 points (27g-31a) in 59 games) last season, good enough for fourth on the Penguins. In 2013-14, he was second on the team, and eighth in the League with 11 power-play goals. He hit the 50-point mark for the third time in his career, and the 20-goal mark for the 6th straight year.

Dallas’ second pick, 33rd overall (second round), in the 2005 Entry Draft, Neal was traded from Dallas to Pittsburgh in 2011. Neal was named a 2012 NHL First Team All-Star and represented Pittsburgh in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game. A Plymouth Whaler (OHL) from 2003-07, Neal was named to the OHL First Team All-Star in 2007 and to the Canadian Major Junior Second All-Star Team (2007). The Whitby, Ontario, native represented Canada at the 2005 Under-18 World Championship, the 2007 World Junior Championship and both the 2009 and 2011 IIHF World Championships.