Mar 12, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Nashville Predators center Nick Spaling (13) warms up before the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Predators shut out the Stars 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Spaling, Pittsburgh Penguins Remain Over A Million Apart In Arbitration

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Nick Spaling remain significantly apart in a new deal to lift his restricted free agent status.

According to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, Spaling is reportedly asking Pittsburgh for one-year, $2.85 million in arbitration, and the Penguins have offered a one-year, $1.65 million contract.

This past season, Spaling made $1.5 million, which, as you can see, is a full $1.35 million less than his current demands.

The two sides look to be heading for an arbitration hearing on Jul. 31, but the Penguins have the option of just letting him walk, and Spaling would then become an unrestricted free agent – per Campbell.

Spaling was acquired in the trade that sent James Neal to Nashville, and is expected to make a significant impact on the Pens’ third-line; however, if that’s his asking price, Pittsburgh may be better off just cutting their losses. Spaling has never registered over 32 points in four seasons, and failed to garner over 22 points in his first three seasons.

The Penguins already have an obligation to re-sign center Brandon Sutter, who’s also a restricted free agent, with just a little over $6.4 million in cap space to work with – per Cap Geek. And given Sutter will more than likely be awarded with a better offer, general manager Jim Rutherford has some serious decisions to make regarding Spaling’s future.

If Spaling walks, the Neal trade is certainly starting to look bleaker.

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