The NHL Draft is just hours away, and there’s expected to be a plethora of moves being maneuvered when it arrives.
One player who the Penguins have receiving inquiries for is forward James Neal.
According to TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger, Pittsburgh has reportedly talked to other general managers regarding James Neal’s availability, however, there’s nothing for the Penguins to mull over right now.
Understandably, gm’s continue to call Pittsburgh on potential of James Neal trade. Nothing worth considering at the moment.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 26, 2014
Neal has four years remaining on his contract, and the deal has an average annual value of $5 million, per Cap Geek.
Rumors swirled around Neal after the Pens had been ousted by the New York Rangers, after he had allegedly asked to be traded. However, Neal explained to everyone via Twitter that it was just a rumor, and that he loves being with Pittsburgh.
All of these rumors couldn’t be further from the truth. I love being a Pittsburgh Penguin. I hope to remain a Penguin and win as a Penguin.
— James Neal (@jneal_18) May 23, 2014
Neal averaged more than a point-per-game during the 2013-14 regular-season (61 points in 59 games), but had an atrocious playoff performance. Posting a mere four points (2G, 2A) in 13 postseason tilts, Neal recorded 49 shots-on-goal, which was the most on the team by nine.
Beau Bennett played in one less playoff game than Neal, and had 35 less shots, but managed to put up one more point than him. Which goes to show you how bad Neal struggled.
Given Pittsburgh needs more formidable forwards than just Neal, and needs every dollar they can get, don’t be surprised if his name pops up Friday in possible trade speculation.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins