Get Ready for Six More Years of James Neal

James Neal has re-signed for six years. Neal was set to become an RFA at the end of this season. From the Penguins website:

The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward James Neal to a six-year contract extension, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.

The deal begins with the 2012-13 season and runs through the 2017-18 campaign, and has an average annual value of $5 million.

$5 million is a lot of money, but Neal is certainly worth it, especially with the chemistry he's showed with Malkin this year. He definitely could have gotten more. This is a long deal by Ray Shero standards.

This is the winger the Pens have needed for years and now they've got him locked up for the next six years. Neal was making $2.875 on his current deal.

A few other forwards who have cap hits of around $5 million/year: Mike Ribeiro, Tomas Plekanec, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Kesler, Patrice Bergeron and Martin Havlat.

What a great way to wake up on a Sunday morning.

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