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James Neal may be the next All-Star addition

Jan 25, 2012, 12:07 AM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers Getty Images

As great as James Neal has been this season, it’s understandable that he’s gotten lost in the All-Star Game shuffle thanks to his distracting Pittsburgh Penguins teammates.

Evgeni Malkin‘s world-beating ways, Sidney Crosby‘s concussion nightmare, Matt Cooke‘s tomfoolery and other attention grabbing bits allowed Neal to slip under the radar ever so slightly.

That might not happen much longer, however, as Neal could be one of the late All-Star Game additions according to Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Anderson reports that Neal was under serious consideration to take Jonathan Toews‘ vacated spot but Scott Hartnell won via “seniority.” (I would have preferred “sillier hair” as the official reason, but that’s fine.)

It would be rather interesting if Neal ends up joining his former Dallas Stars teammate Jamie Benn in the 2012 All-Star Game. The Stars essentially decided that Neal was expendable because of Benn’s development last season in the Alex Goligoski trade, yet each budding star has experienced the best campaigns of their careers.

(Oh, and both are in the last season of their current contracts, too.)

Neal is second in the league with 27 goals and has a nice 47 points in 49 games. He leads the league with 210 shots, which works out to an average of about 4.3 per contest. In other words, he wouldn’t be out of place with the NHL’s best this weekend if it happens.

  1. pensgal58 - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    Obviously I love my Pens and would love to see Neal at the ASG but I just don’t understand how they can keep passing over Bergeron…

    • miketoasty - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

      Neal has almost twice the goals of Bergeron but a couple less assists, while Bergeron is dominating in plus/minus. Being that this is supposed to be a show of offensive talent I don’t see them picking Bergeron over Neal even though they are both having amazing seasons.

  2. adderz77 - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    James Neal’s performance this year has been outstanding! Should have be in the All star game straight up!

  3. pittsburghpoonslayer - Jan 25, 2012 at 6:02 AM

    how many times have we said this. he is twenty times better than the ginger taint hartnell

  4. orpikseyes - Jan 25, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    about time. dude has a shot like a damn rocket, a cawk like a burmese python, and the mind of a fricking scientist.

    • jobotjones - Jan 25, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      hahaha yes! KP at the bat!

  5. num1eaglesfanyo - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    hey Pittsburgh Goon slayer go fuck urself hater

    • orpikseyes - Jan 25, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      is that you Jesse Pinkman?

  6. broadstbully33 - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    Neal sucks put another flyer on the team

  7. jamesmakesurmomneil - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Seniority??? What a joke. Hartnell is a dirty player and should not be in the all star game. NHL needs to punish these goons not reward them. Get James Neal in this game, not only is he a better hockey player, he is much better looking. Hartnell scares young children and women away from the game

  8. pittsburghpoonslayer - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    Numb1eaglesfan, how does it feel to be a number one fan to a team that consistently is terrible and loses more than half their games? And a fan of a team that never can seem to get it done in the stanley cup finals? That must be tough on you… everyone in pittsburgh’s heart goes out to you and your filthy city.. just kidding, we love watching you bum fans soak in shame. suck it – from the city of champions

  9. murraychadwick - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    How can the second leading goal scorer in the whole league not already be an All-Star? He should have been named from the start.

  10. kennypowersmfceo - Jan 25, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Where is blacksabbath on this pens post? Kinda disappointed he didn’t grace us with his presence…..must be listening to Pink Floyd I guess

    • blacksabbathrulesall - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      While your mom and dad are letting you use the computer,why don’t you drop some of your vast hockey knowledge on the rest of us?
      We would all love to hear it.
      Do they let you watch East Bound And Down? or do you sneak it in when they are sleeping?

  11. pdmjr - Jan 25, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    If they call him today, Neal should say no.

    Hard to believe that Bettman condones Ovechkin’s refusal to play

    What a bunch of douchebags

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