By now, you already know about the trade between Nashville and Pittsburgh involving the exchange of Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling for Right Winger, James Neal. Has it had time to sink in yet? Nick Spaling was on the radar to take flight, but Hornqvist came as a surprise to just about everyone.
James Neal, first drafted in the second round in the 2005 Draft by the Dallas Stars, was a goal collector from the get-go. Scoring no less than 20-goals a season, in the 2011-12 season, Neal topped the charts with 40 goals — as a Preds fan, could you imagine forty goals from one player, not a multitude of several together? Since the 2011-12 season, he has lost some steam, but in Predators terms, he’s still on fire (again, no less than twenty goals since).
Though the loss of Hornqvist tears deeply at the heartstrings — the price of being a fan — now that the dust has settled from yesterday’s trade, you’ll be able to see with clearer eyes that, in order for the Predators to make the move towards the ultimate prize, sacrifices must be made. Unfortunately, Hornqvist was that sacrifice (sorry, Spals). This is a great sign from the leaders of this organization that good things are on the horizon. Moves like these are (for Nashville’s sake) what it is going to take for Nashville to get back in the playoff chase and make a legitimate run towards the Stanley Cup.
Here’s an exchange between the media, James Neal and Evgeni Malkin:
That was a good little .gif set to find, right? Neal wants t he puck. He wants to shoot. For a defensive team like Nashville, this is the exact exchange we want to hear from former teammates. Shooting leads to goals. Goals leads to winning. Winning leads to playoffs. Playoffs lead to Cup. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?