The Pens traded James Neal to Nashville for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.
We’re not going to deny ever loving James Neal, because we did: the Goligoski-for-Niskanen-and-Neal trade instantly improved the Penguins, and not just because Matt Niskanen became a stud. But I think we all knew that once James Neal signed that contract that he was probably trade bait soon.
While Neal’s chemistry with Malkin was undeniable, he became expendable in Pittsburgh, especially considering his $5M cap hit. It wasn’t worth spending that much money on a player who disappeared in the playoffs and was just as likely to get suspended as he was to have a multi-point game at times. So y’know. Bye James Neal. Bye James Neal’s hair.
Patric Hornqvist has been on our radar for awhile. The guy is an incredibly tough forward who would be at home in the Pens’ top six. He doesn’t take shit and can park his ass in front of the net.
via our friend MouthGuard, this is also a real thing:
Spaling is a depth addition, but he produces slightly more in terms of goals than most guys in the Pens’ bottom six have been managing lately.
Pens draft a Finnish right winger, oh my god
Kasperi Kapanen has been playing in SM-liiga for the last two years. He’s a pretty small player at the moment and isn’t considered to have a game with a lot of power or physicality, but the scouting reports seem to indicate that he’s a sniper with excellent hockey sense who can create scoring chances from all areas of the ice.
He was the top ranked Euro skater in this draft and he fell to #22. The Oilers selected center Leon Draisaitl of Germany. When was the last time the top European pick in the draft was German. . .?
Oh and? Remember Joshua Ho-Sang, the kid with the delicious attitude who is combating the subtle racism and keep-your-head-down-and-be-boring culture of the NHL? Went to the Islanders. That’s going to be intense.
anyway we like everything that happened, THE PENS ACTUALLY DRAFTED A FUCKING FORWARD