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Trading James Neal?


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I didn't see it posted here at all, so I thought I would post this. It's from Elliotte Friedman, who is a reputable source. He suggests the Pens might explore trading Neal.

 

What do you guys think? I really don't understand why they would trade their best winger. And he's young too.

 

PS - We'll take him, warts and all :)

 

http://spectorshockey.net/blog/nhl-morning-rumor-mill-may-19-2014/

 

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman doesn’t expect the Penguins to tear down its roster but wouldn’t be surprised if they test James Neal’s trade value this summer…
 
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe the Penguins will entertain trading Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Neal is likely their best trade chip right now, though teams might try to pry promising Olli Maatta away from them…
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I'm sure there will be loads of speculation on who could/should go for the Pens as with any team during the off season.  But here let's look at the case of James Neal:

 

6'2" 215

Age next season: 27

Cap hit $5M/year through 17/18(31 years old will be next contract year)

 

Plus:

40 goal scorer once, but was on pace in strike year

Large frame

Plays with and edge

Great one time shot on the Power Play

Good vision to get to the open spot for shots.

 

Minus:

Ineffective without Crosby or Malkin centering line(did not even notice him in the Rags series when they combined Sid and Geno).

Sometimes goes over that edge on hits.

Lacks defensive presence, can't work the PK.

Pitiful on faceoffs(and hasn't made any effort to get better)

Shoot first mentality(Ovechkinitis) that doesn't help team mates.

 

At $5M / year, I hopped that he would become a little more rounded player,  who can generate offense on his own.   Neal has not shown that he can do that,  He NEEDS to have a Malkin or Crosby to mask his presence so he can open up for one time shots.   His effectiveness in the playoffs was completely eliminated when they went two headed monster, and moved to two defenders on the PP and took him off of the halfwall for the one time shot. He was not a factor.

 

His defensive game has not gotten better through the years.  He'll make the big hit, sometimes too big, but he will get outworked along the boards, and doesn't use his frame as much as he could.

 

In the end, I'm looking at him as a lower top tier offensive player that doesn't seem to want to put in the full effort to become a complete player on the ice.  At 26 years old, he does not have the drive to change his game to move in that direction, which is a shame.    He has the size to make a difference, but wants to be the sniper and will not go to the front of the net for screens and working mans goals.   

 

But . . .    I think a different coach/system would work better for him.   If Bylsma goes, I would like to see who the new coach is, and see if he can change his game to be more physical, and be more of a net front presence without the puck.  If Bylsma stays, then he's going to be the same player, and I would not cry if they could get a decent ROI.

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@nossagog  I think the easiest way for the Pens to improve is trading Letang. This would make the most sense. It's a position of strength, tons of youngsters who can step in and at least partially replace his production. Plus, whoever replaces him would make the Pens a stronger defensive team. Not sure how his recent injuries and cap hit would scare away potential suitors.

 

  If Letang can't be moved, the next best thing would be trading Neal. He would fetch a nice package in a trade scenario. Perhaps they deal Neal to free up cap space for their real target, Vanek. Thomas plays a game centered around possession, one of Sid's strong points. He would be a perfect fit. Not sure if Vanek is interested in going there, but really....how many star wingers would not give their left nut to play with Malkin and Sid on the top pp?

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Trading Neal just opens up another hole in the lineup IMO. I mean it looks to me like they could use two more top 6 wingers...not get rid of one.. Unless of course Mario is getting sick of looking like a hypocrite, preaching fair play when he has Matt Cooke/James Neal on his payroll. Or they want someone who plays the entire surface.

 

 I agree (and already mentioned in another thread) that Letang would be first to go. You've already got some good young cheap talent coming up there. You might be able to fill two positions at wing for the price of one defenceman.

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@nossagog  I think the easiest way for the Pens to improve is trading Letang. This would make the most sense. It's a position of strength, tons of youngsters who can step in and at least partially replace his production. Plus, whoever replaces him would make the Pens a stronger defensive team. Not sure how his recent injuries and cap hit would scare away potential suitors.

 

  If Letang can't be moved, the next best thing would be trading Neal. He would fetch a nice package in a trade scenario. Perhaps they deal Neal to free up cap space for their real target, Vanek. Thomas plays a game centered around possession, one of Sid's strong points. He would be a perfect fit. Not sure if Vanek is interested in going there, but really....how many star wingers would not give their left nut to play with Malkin and Sid on the top pp?

 

This. It's not a knock on Letang or his contract (at least for me) but if you need to free up cap space to address another need (3rd/4th line forwards) and you have a pipeline of Letang replacements, trying to trade him makes the most sense.  Neal is not a perfect player but he's far from being a problem.   I'd put Paul Martin as the #2 option as far as trade consideration.  He's older.  Doesn't make Letang money but $5,000,000 is still up there. Even if the return is picks and/or prospects I also see it as getting (or keeping) whoever that $5,000,000 is used for.

 

For better or worse I think the Pens top 2 lines (and 3rd line center) are set for the next 2-3 years with Kunitz/Crosby/Dupuis and Neal/Malkin/Bennett (and Sutter).

 

Trading Neal just opens up another hole in the lineup IMO. I mean it looks to me like they could use two more top 6 wingers...not get rid of one.

 

Ding ding ding.

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I didn't see it posted here at all, so I thought I would post this. It's from Elliotte Friedman, who is a reputable source. He suggests the Pens might explore trading Neal.

 

What do you guys think? I really don't understand why they would trade their best winger. And he's young too.

 

PS - We'll take him, warts and all :)

 

http://spectorshockey.net/blog/nhl-morning-rumor-mill-may-19-2014/

 

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman doesn’t expect the Penguins to tear down its roster but wouldn’t be surprised if they test James Neal’s trade value this summer…
 
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe the Penguins will entertain trading Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Neal is likely their best trade chip right now, though teams might try to pry promising Olli Maatta away from them…

 

You can have him. Slowly he's bceome one of the dirtiest player sin the league, getting suspended often, Pass on him.

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Trading Neal just opens up another hole in the lineup IMO. I mean it looks to me like they could use two more top 6 wingers...not get rid of one.. Unless of course Mario is getting sick of looking like a hypocrite, preaching fair play when he has Matt Cooke/James Neal on his payroll. Or they want someone who plays the entire surface.

 

 I agree (and already mentioned in another thread) that Letang would be first to go. You've already got some good young cheap talent coming up there. You might be able to fill two positions at wing for the price of one defenceman.

Don't forget the Jarko Ruutu type cheap shot artists to go along with Neal,Cooke and CROSBY, even tho he has great skill.. Mario has to be the biggest hypocrite in the NHL. It's one thing to employ the dirteist players in the league but then to CONTINUALLY whine about it ruining the game. SHUT UP!

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Slowly he's bceome one of the dirtiest player sin the league, getting suspended often

 

Well he'd fit right in with Philly :) 

 

I guess our team isn't really dirty anymore; they're just dumb and take a lot of penalties. 

 

Gone are the days of Bowlofrice, Downie, and the other 3 suspensions that year. That was crazy.

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Well he'd fit right in with Philly :)

 

I guess our team isn't really dirty anymore; they're just dumb and take a lot of penalties. 

 

Gone are the days of Bowlofrice, Downie, and the other 3 suspensions that year. That was crazy.

Exactly. We have enough guy's tkaing dumb penalies, we dont need another high salried guy getting suspended for games at a clip. He's a  head hunter, no neda for him or that

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Comments on Neal from one of the PPG's Penguins bloggers in his season post-mortem:

 

James Neal is a lot of things. Many of them are good. He has one of the best releases by any goal-scorer in the NHL and he has teamed with Evgeni Malkin to provide on of the best forward tandems in the NHL.

 

Neal is also a lot of bad things. He's the player who tends to take bad penalties when his team least needs them. He took a poor holding minor against Rangers defenseman Marc Staal late in the first period and nullified a power play which could have tied the game.

 

He's the player who tries to settle personal scores with opponent such as when he kneed a vulnerable Brad Marchand of Boston in the head in December and earned a suspension.

 

He's also the player off the ice who can be petulant in his dealings with team and arena employees as well as media. When a team-initiated Twitter campaign involving Neal was hijacked by fans primarily from Boston and Philadelphia, he protested his involvement in it with team employees in front of several members of the media. While Neal has no obligation to be an agreeable human being, particularly with those in the media, it's apparently a significant enough problem that Penguins management and teammates have addressed him repeatedly about it.

 

Of greater importance, Neal's lack in production in the postseason has become a far too common occurrence. In 2011, Neal was stuck on a "top" line with an aging Alex Kovalev and a hobbled Mark Letestu and was playing a top line. In 2012, after helping Malkin win the Art Ross Trophy, Neal had nearly as many games missed due to suspension (one) as he did goals. In 2013, Neal did produce a respectable 10 points in 13 games while dealing with some sort of leg injury but like many of his teammates, disappeared in an Eastern Conference final sweep to the Bruins.

 

This year, Neal, while playing much of the postseason on a separate line than Malkin, could only scrape out two goals in 12 postseason games. He has as many penalty minutes in the final six games of the second round series against the Rangers as shots (20).

 

Full text is here: http://blogs.post-gazette.com/sports/2013-06-20-18-51-15/empty-netters/41477-the-day-after-after-05-15-14

If James Neal is going to be a part of this team's future, he needs to be far more reliable on and off the ice.

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Don't forget the Jarko Ruutu type cheap shot artists to go along with Neal,Cooke and CROSBY, even tho he has great skill.. Mario has to be the biggest hypocrite in the NHL. It's one thing to employ the dirteist players in the league but then to CONTINUALLY whine about it ruining the game. SHUT UP!

You're so full of it it's laughable. Yeah Neal has a few suspensions on his résumé now, but none put him in the league of Ruuttu or Cooke, or Downie or Rinaldo. Yet you sit here and add Crosby as a dirty player? Giroux has been suspended more than Crosby, and deservedly so. You're so full of spite you speak nonsense.

Please show me where Lemieux "continually" whines about the state of the league? He made one major press release a few years ago. Since then he reprimanded Cooke and told him to shape up or ship out. How is that hypocritical? He has also had a discussion with Neal and all of the sudden Neal cleaned his act up for the playoffs. He's a work in progress, sure, but please show me any spec of evidence Lemieux has been hypocritical.

A person spouting hate without facts to support it often gets told things like .... SHUT UP.

Edited by Polaris922
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Well he'd fit right in with Philly :)

I guess our team isn't really dirty anymore; they're just dumb and take a lot of penalties.

Gone are the days of Bowlofrice, Downie, and the other 3 suspensions that year. That was crazy.

Don't worry your Flyers still have more suspensions/fines than the Pens over the past few years. Lol.

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You're so full of it it's laughable. Yeah Neal has a few suspensions on his résumé now, but none put him in the league of Ruuttu or Cooke, or Downie or Rinaldo. Yet you sit here and add Crosby as a dirty player? Giroux has been suspended more than Crosby, and deservedly so. You're so full of spite you speak nonsense.

Please show me where Lemieux "continually" whines about the state of the league? He made one major press release a few years ago. Since then he reprimanded Cooke and told him to shape up or ship out. How is that hypocritical? He has also had a discussion with Neal and all of the sudden Neal cleaned his act up for the playoffs. He's a work in progress, sure, but please show me any spec of evidence Lemieux has been hypocritical.

A person spouting hate without facts to support it often gets told things like .... SHUT UP.

 

Thank you! That dope probably slobbered Pronger's potato sack when he was aquired and didn't even think twice about the guy who has been suspended eight times for such pleasantries as performing a tonsillectomy with his stiick on Pat Peake, doing his best Barry Bonds on Roenick's head, kicking Ville Niemenen and using his skate as a bread slicer on Kesler's leg...among other things.  But yeah - Mario is the hypocrite. :rolleyes:

 

Poof!

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@nossagog  I think the easiest way for the Pens to improve is trading Letang. This would make the most sense. It's a position of strength, tons of youngsters who can step in and at least partially replace his production. Plus, whoever replaces him would make the Pens a stronger defensive team. Not sure how his recent injuries and cap hit would scare away potential suitors.

 

  If Letang can't be moved, the next best thing would be trading Neal. He would fetch a nice package in a trade scenario. Perhaps they deal Neal to free up cap space for their real target, Vanek. Thomas plays a game centered around possession, one of Sid's strong points. He would be a perfect fit. Not sure if Vanek is interested in going there, but really....how many star wingers would not give their left nut to play with Malkin and Sid on the top pp?

 

Jammer that may be, I was trying to stay on topic with Neal, and point out his benefits and limitations.   As you can see from some of the off track stuff in the thread, all people need is a little excuse to hijack a thread into something else.

Edited by nossagog
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@nossagog  I think the easiest way for the Pens to improve is trading Letang. This would make the most sense. It's a position of strength, tons of youngsters who can step in and at least partially replace his production. Plus, whoever replaces him would make the Pens a stronger defensive team. Not sure how his recent injuries and cap hit would scare away potential suitors.

 

  If Letang can't be moved, the next best thing would be trading Neal. He would fetch a nice package in a trade scenario. Perhaps they deal Neal to free up cap space for their real target, Vanek. Thomas plays a game centered around possession, one of Sid's strong points. He would be a perfect fit. Not sure if Vanek is interested in going there, but really....how many star wingers would not give their left nut to play with Malkin and Sid on the top pp?

What happens if someone offer sheets Despres? not saying it will happen, but if a division rival wants to handcuff the pens salary even more or steal a decent prospect who looks like he will at least reach Ehrhoff level?

 

Honestly Jammer though, I cannot see the pens affording Vanek. They have 16 million to play with and need to sign 6 forwards and 2 defensemen. Vanek is almost certainly going to command 6.5-7 million.

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What happens if someone offer sheets Despres? not saying it will happen, but if a division rival wants to handcuff the pens salary even more or steal a decent prospect who looks like he will at least reach Ehrhoff level?

 

Honestly Jammer though, I cannot see the pens affording Vanek. They have 16 million to play with and need to sign 6 forwards and 2 defensemen. Vanek is almost certainly going to command 6.5-7 million.

 

And he might be a healthy scratch tomorrow...

 

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=720218

 

Could be Therien just being Therien.

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Jammer that may be, I was trying to stay on topic with Neal, and point out his benefits and limitations.   As you can see from some of the off track stuff in the thread, all people need is a little excuse to hijack a thread into something else.

 

Excuse? Just pick a thread and take a shot at Crosby...now known as a "Zezel".

 

In this thread was almost Zezel'd.

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What happens if someone offer sheets Despres? not saying it will happen, but if a division rival wants to handcuff the pens salary even more or steal a decent prospect who looks like he will at least reach Ehrhoff level?

 

Honestly Jammer though, I cannot see the pens affording Vanek. They have 16 million to play with and need to sign 6 forwards and 2 defensemen. Vanek is almost certainly going to command 6.5-7 million.

 

Joe, here's the thing, I like Despres, but he has never been given a chance by DFB.   He's been in the lineup, and then benched or send down for making minor mistakes when bigger mistakes are being make by DFB's veterans.   I feel for Despres, but I have this feeling that he will never get a decent shot while DFB is coaching this team.  If I'm Despres, I'm hoping that someone makes an offer, because I think , sadly enough, that the Pens will let him move if DFB has any say in the matter.

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Thank you! That dope probably slobbered Pronger's potato sack when he was aquired and didn't even think twice about the guy who has been suspended eight times for such pleasantries as performing a tonsillectomy with his stiick on Pat Peake, doing his best Barry Bonds on Roenick's head, kicking Ville Niemenen and using his skate as a bread slicer on Kesler's leg...among other things.  But yeah - Mario is the hypocrite. :rolleyes:

 

Poof!

 

Never liked Pronger.

 

Still don't.

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