Jim Rutherford’s first player trade is a big one. [ CBS ]
Rutherford has traded away James Neal for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.
Five quick thoughts…
Patric Hornqvist is underrated
-Assistant Captain in Nashville
-Hornqvist scored 53 points with Nashville last year. ( 22 goals, 31 assist)
On a team that doesn’t score a ton, that isn’t bad. Another huge stat: only 28 penalty minutes last year.
Neal, by comparsion with 61 points ( 27 goals, 34 assists) . Give Neal the bump thanks to playing with Malkin, and Hornqvist doesn’t look bad at all.
Hockey reference list Hornqvist with these players:
Not a bad list at all.
Hornqvist with a good cap number
Hornqvist is signed at a very reasonable 4.25 million dollar cap hit thru 2018. Spaling is a restricted free agent, and could probably command around 1.5 to 2 million a year.
An anti-Bylsma move
Oh no, look, a European player. We like this move because it is different than what we saw the last five years.
Nick Spaling, solid third liner
Spaling is an immediate upgrade to the third line. He is coming off a great season last year in Nashville:
The hottest take
Really like this deal. Hornqvist could thrive with the Penguins, and Spaling is a great start to building a new third and fourth line. Neal wore out his welcome in Pittsburgh, there is no other way to say it. The Penguins talked a ton about character in the recent weeks, and they showed they mean it by making this move.