Hornqvist & Spaling to Pens for James Neal


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?



Predators awarded 4th Pick in NHL Draft Lottery


The lottery has spoken and, after wringing our hands in anticipation of what good news we can look forward to due to a playoff-less offseason, the Nashville Predators drew lucky number four in the 2013 NHL Draft lottery.

Rounding out the Top 5 are:
5. Carolina Hurricane
4. Nashville Predators
3. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Florida Panthers
1. Colorado Avalanche

The Predators had a 10.7% chance of nabbing the 1st overall pick, but odds were in Colorado’s favor, who are expected to claim the highly sought after defenseman, Seth Jones. However, this is Nashville’s highest draft pick since claiming David Legwand in 1998, so the Preds can expect to add a stellar player to their roster, who David Poile claims will “90 percent” likely be a forward.

The rest of the league follows as (up to 14 as the Stanley Cup finals will determine the rest of the league):
6. Calgary Flames
7. Edmonton Oilers
8. Buffalo Sabres
9. New Jersey Devils
10. Dallas Stars
11. Philadelphia Flyers
12. Phoenix Coyotes
13. Winnipeg Jets
14. Columbus Blue Jackets

Although they may not nab Seth Hones, whose father is from Dresden, Tenn., there are plenty of other top prospects Nashville has a chance at selecting from. Here are the top prospects for the 2013 Draft as chosen by TSN:

1. D – Seth Jones, Portland (Western Hockey League)
2. F – Jonathan Drouin, Halifax (Quebec Major Junior League)
3. F – Nathan MacKinnon, Halifax (QMJHL)
4. F – Aleksander Barkov, Tappara (Finnish Elite League)
5. F – Valeri Nichushkin, Chelijabinsk (Kontinental Hockey League)
6. D – Darnell Nurse, Saul Ste. Marie (Ontario Hockey League)
7. F – Sean Monahan, Ottawa, (OHL)
8. F – Elias Lindholm, Brynas (Swedish Elite League)
9. G – Zachary Fucale, Halifax (QMJHL)
10. F – Max Domi, London (OHL)

We have our eyes set on No. 4, Aleksander Barkov, but that’s just us.

The 2013 NHL Draft isn’t until June 30th, so David Poile and the rest of the staff have plenty of time to decide wether to take or trade (please don’t trade). For interest’s sake, here is a list of all the players Nashville has picked up in the first round:

Draft Position – Year – Player
2 – 1998 – DAVID LEGWAND, F
6 – 1999 – BRIAN FINLEY, G
6 – 2000 – SCOTT HARTNELL, F
12 – 2001 – DAN HAMHUIS, D
7 – 2003 – RYAN SUTER, D
18 – 2005 – RYAN PARENT, D
23 – 2007 – JONATHON BLUM, D
7 – 2008 – COLIN WILSON, F
18 – 2008 – CHET PICKARD, G
11 – 2009 – RYAN ELLIS, D
18 – 2010 – AUSTIN WATSON, F