Penguins trade RW James Neal to Predators for Patric Hornqvist, Nick Spaling

Saturday June 28th, 2014

The Penguins have traded right winger James Neal to the Predators for forward Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling, the teams announced Friday evening.

The 26-year-old Neal had 27 goals, 34 assists and a plus-15 rating last season in 59 regular-season games for Pittsburgh, and two goals and two assists in four playoff games. The six-year veteran, who has $15 million left on a six-year, $30 million deal that runs through 2017-18, will try to help a Predators offense (under new coach Peter Laviolette) that ranked 19th in the league with 2.6 goals per game.

Neal, who scored a career-high 40 goals in 2011-12, was suspended five games last season for kneeing Brad Marchand in the head.

Hornqvist, 27, is also a six-year veteran (all six in Nashville) and last season he scored 22 goals with 31 assists, while Spaling, 25, had 13 goals and 19 assists last season.

Hornqvist signed a five-year deal with the Predators last summer for $21.25 million.

NHL salary cap set at $69 million

--Chris Mascaro

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