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Neal denies he asked for trade out of Pittsburgh

May 23, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

In the wake of their stunning playoff collapse, the Penguins have been the subject of many trade rumors and on Friday, one of them took to social media to deny the whispers.

James Neal, the subject of  “reports” claiming he demanded a trade out of Pittsburgh, addressed the rumblings via Twitter:

It’s unclear exactly where the rumors started, but many have pointed to this from Pittsburgh radio host Mark Madden:

Neal, 26, scored 27 goals and 61 points in 59 games this season, missing extensive time to suspension and injury. He had a postseason to forget, scoring just four points in 13 games, and came under fire repeatedly throughout the year for his disciplinary issues — a five-game ban for kneeing Brad Marchand in the head, and a $5,000 fine for cross-checking Detroit’s Luke Glendening.

Despite the discipline problems, Neal remains an elite-level talent. A former 40-goal scorer that made the NHL’s first All-Star team in 2012, Neal signed a six-year, $30 million extension with the Penguins two years ago (with a modified no-trade clause, it should be mentioned) and has been one of the league’s better goalscoring wingers over the last three seasons.

One would think that, given his talent level and Pittsburgh’s seeming need to “shake things up,” Neal could be a legitimate candidate to be moved this offseason. But if it happens, it won’t be because he asked out.

Assuming you believe everything you read on social media, that is.

  1. tizzy412 - May 23, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Him and a prospect for evander cane

    • stcrowe - May 23, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      Realistically, it woul be more like him for Evander Kane and a prospect or a significant draft pick.

    • shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      I love how utterly clueless sports fans are in regards to value or players.

  2. bcsteele - May 23, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    Just gonna throw this out there…

    Shattenkirk for Neal?

    Blues need a scorer and are deep at D. Pens need more reasonably priced dmen. This would allow you to explore trading Letang while keeping an offensive dman.

    Just a thought…

    • flyerspsu - May 23, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      It would take more than Neal for shattenkirk

      • flyerspsu - May 23, 2014 at 1:35 PM

        whats with the thumb downs? do you people think Neal is worth Shattenkirk on the trade market?

        young proven stud dmen are worth more on the market than good scorers, young dman in general are worth more than forwards, especially when that scorer is poor defensively, has discipline/character problems, has unperformed in the playoffs and has had his stats elevated from playing with Malkin

      • mcphillthy - May 23, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        I agree with you, psu. Neal can put up points but he is a liability defensively and he is just a flat out dirty douchebag of a player. I would take a young stud dman in his prime over Neal any day. I have you a thumbs up, buddy! 😀

      • flyerspsu - May 23, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        Thanks for the thumbs up man! yeah normally I couldnt care less about them but here it suggested they disagreed w/ my statement which was pretty surprising to me

        Neal has a lot of baggage and flaws and is definitely not equal to Shattenkirk on the market

      • c9castine - May 24, 2014 at 12:07 AM

        40 goal scorers are rare as F.

        matt niskanens and kevin shattenkirks are all over the place. maybe not like backup goaltender, but there are plenty to be had.

      • flyerspsu - May 24, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        Neal is not a true 40 goal scorer, he can hit 40 goals when playing w/ Malkin, w/o him his play drops mightely and is more of a 30 goal guy who tends to struggle in the playoffs, is bad defensively and has discipline/character problem, yeah thats not equal to Shattenkirk on the market

        ‘matt niskanens and kevin shattenkirks are all over the place. maybe not like backup goaltender, but there are plenty to be had’ brilliant stuff there

      • c9castine - May 24, 2014 at 5:46 PM

        he has scored .5 goal per game for the last 3 seasons (88 goals, 178 pts. in 179 games, +31)and hes 26 years old. you can count the guys that have done that in the past 3 seasons on one hand. maybe even a war vet could do that for you.

        i want him gone so im the first one to admit his faults but no matter how you look at him, hes more valuable than kevin shattenkirk, much due respect.

      • c9castine - May 24, 2014 at 5:49 PM

        seriously laughable that you think a 2nd pairing/2nd PP defenseman is more valuable than a 1st line scoring winger.

    • r8rbhawk - May 23, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      What can the Hawks do to pry Shattenkirk away?

      • bcsteele - May 23, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        Honestly I don’t think our teams would ever trade because of the rivalry. That said, I’m not sure what it would take cause Toews and Kane would obviously be unavailable and Hossa is getting older…and we need a scorer. I don’t see the hawks giving up Sharp either, so I’m not sure would you’d have left to offer but I don’t follow the Hawks as much as one might think as a Blues fan.

      • flyerspsu - May 23, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        i agree with bcsteele, I dont think the Blues would trade him to the Hawks

    • nyrnashty - May 23, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      It would be more like Shatty deuces + 1-2 first round picks and a prospect that is ready to play now to land someone like Shattenkirk.

  3. tizzy412 - May 23, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Think i jacked up both his first and last name my bad lol

  4. flyerspsu - May 23, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    This whole debacle just makes the #askneal even more epic

    • flyerspsu - May 23, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Nvm I thought the headline was referring to that with Twitter b/c I read yesterday how that #askneal disaster caused a lot of tension between Neal and team management and media and could be one of the reasons a trade could happen which would be pretty hysterical, obviously there would be other bigger reasons but apparently his reaction to it made the Penguins really his question his character even more w/ his his suspensions and contemplate if hes worth keeping in the core for the future

  5. JoeAvg - May 23, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    First of all Mark Madden is a posturing fool. I tuned into his show once several years years ago and could take about 10 minutes of it before I had to turn it off. I wouldn’t give you 2 cents for anything from him.

    Secondly, Neal may not want out, but could be shown the door anyway. Especially if reports like this one are true (number 7).

    Oh and, swapping him for Kane is probably just trading one problem for another. Might be better off with the devil you know.

    • pitpenguinsrulez - May 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      Madden all the way. Madden doesn’t sugar coat things like the clowns on 93.7

      • theageofquarrel - May 23, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        I would take Madden over Rossi easily.
        93.7 The Overreaction is the worst,every one of those guys on that channel are clowns.

      • flowerdew - May 23, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        Wait, and Rossi was the one who was driving the Kesler rumors, right? Sorry, I’ve just been kind of in awe of the way the Pittsburgh media has tried to drive personnel movement. I’m trying to get all the actors straight.

    • JoeAvg - May 23, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      Sorry NBC. Should have made that like open in a new window. My bad. Change it if you like.

    • flowerdew - May 23, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Genuine question – is he the one claiming that Babcock wants to come to Pittsburgh this summer & proposing a multistep plan for the Penguins to force Detroit’s hand? Only for Babcock to say that even if the Wings fired him today, he wouldn’t leave Detroit this year? If it’s the same guy, then wow.

      • JoeAvg - May 23, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        Couldn’t tell you, though the Babcock to Pitt stuff is laughable for several reasons. Never heard anything about a multi-step plan – that is funny. Perhaps someone else can answer your question. I don’t live in the area anymore, just still follow the team (that stuff’s engrained in you as kid). I’m spared being surrounded by some of the awful media personalities they have there (Steigerwald has to be one of the worst announcers in hockey). But I guess there’s good and bad in every market.

      • shwatson - May 23, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        He didn’t say Babcock wanted to come Pittsburgh. He only said the Pens might be interested in him as a coach/assistant gm. They apparently want a coach that has some influence on the roster and scouting players. Who wouldn’t want Babcock as a coach though? I agree with Rob Rossi on alot of stuff but he’s known for starting rumors and his sources are always unknown.

      • theageofquarrel - May 23, 2014 at 4:57 PM

        Why would Babcock be any better? Since winning the Cup in ’08 the Wings are 3-5 in playoff series since then. Since ’09 the Pens are 4-5 in series.

      • flowerdew - May 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

        shwatson – sorry, I meant Madden here. I should have been more clear. I tracked down the article, which is now subscription-locked, but the first couple of lines are available and include “Mike Babcock reportedly wants to coach the Penguins.” Which is a little ballsy, but not as blatant as I remembered it, obviously.

        I’m pretty sure it was Rossi with Kesler around the trade deadline? At the time, I thought he was performing the embedded beat reporter duties that you see in pretty much every town – unsourced leaks that feel like they’re coming directly from the GM’s office and are meant to influence negotiations (I’ve pegged Helene St. James as doing this kind of work in Detroit). But I’m not always fluent in identifying them outside of my home market.

        Thanks, both of you, for answering.

    • c9castine - May 24, 2014 at 12:12 AM

      madden is a ridiculous clown who has been making stuff up since the team lost. it what he does. ratings drives everything he does and that includes negating integrity or ethics as something even worth thinking about.

      i dont tihnk neal ever asked for a trade thats stupid. madden keeps citing this way up high source but none of those “way up high” people talk to him even though he thinks hes everybodys best bud.

      you really think this guy is having conversations with mario lemieux, ron burkle, david morehouse, or the management staff??

      even if you suggest ray shero told him in confidence – no way. you dont know squat about ray shero then.

      this is a waste of everybody on heres time unless your talking about supposed neal trades, because fact still remains he is likely going to get traded for many many reasons, least of which is him asking for it.

  6. illogic87 - May 23, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Come to MN, babe..

    • sabatimus - May 23, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      Yep, that way he and Cooke can practice kneeing together.

  7. ravanator - May 23, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Get out Neal! Be smart and jump off the sinking ship before it’s at the bottom of the ocean. Neal wants out of Pittsburgh, he is tired of the arrogant fans with no hockey knowledge.


    • steelcity333 - May 23, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      This guy doesn’t care about hockey. He just hates Pittsburgh. He’s only here to annoy us so just ignore this clown. Go enjoy watching Flacco throw another pick 6.

      • pitpenguinsrulez - May 23, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        I’m guessing they kicked him of ProFootballTalk

      • babykaby - May 23, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        Hate on Flacco all you want, at least he’s never been accused of rape, unlike certain guys wearing Steeler colors.

      • steelcity333 - May 23, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        I don’t know if you’re a Ravens fan or not but if you are, now isn’t the best time to talk about another teams “legal” issues with Ray Rice having knocked out his wife and all.

      • c9castine - May 24, 2014 at 12:15 AM

        babykaby literally made me laugh out loud.

        i tihnk ben is a giant Dbag but its really hard to c

      • c9castine - May 24, 2014 at 12:17 AM

        babykaby literally made me laugh out loud.

        i think ben is a giant Dbag , but he was accused. and the story sounded a whole lot like every other scag on the South Side. but its really hard to criticize him when your team employed ray lewis for years and now ray rice.

    • pitpenguinsrulez - May 23, 2014 at 1:07 PM


  8. oneil1234 - May 23, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    I’d want out of a team with no heart too.

  9. rushledger - May 23, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Going to completely ignore all the stupid comments that keep piling up. If Jokinen doesn’t come back and we trade Neal who plays with Malkin? So let’s slow or role on Neal going anywhere.

  10. laxman1944 - May 23, 2014 at 1:31 PM


    Neal is traded to The Charlestown Chiefs for future considerations.

    • President Charles Logan - May 23, 2014 at 2:55 PM


      Ed Snider and the Philadelphia Flyers have purchased the rights to the Golf Channel , seeing how so many of their personnel are taking part in the sport in the Spring.

  11. timmons94 - May 23, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    When did Burger King switch little ravanators schedule. Ovechkin -35 lol. That looks like Flacco qb rating or wife beaters yards per attempt 3.5.
    #ovi-35. Onetrickpony

    • Slapshot - May 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Capitals’ fans still think there are shootouts in the playoffs.

    • babykaby - May 23, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      timmons94, It’s kinda funny, that one trick pony stands at the circle waiting for the puck. Everyone knows he’s going to shoot it, they’re waiting for him to shoot it, so he shoots it and scores. It is a play that everyone who knows hockey, knows it is going to happen. Where: at the circle, when: during the power play, how: the one timer; and yet all those great defensive players can’t seem to stop it. I think everyone should quit dumping on Ovechkins lack of defensive skills and start questioning the defensive skills of all those players that are unable to stop a play they and everyone else knows is going to happen. Yep, gotta love that one trick pony.

  12. Slapshot - May 23, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    He has not contributed offensively in the post-season. I am not surprised his name has come up in trade talks.

  13. bucfanforlife - May 23, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    the blues yes but not for shatt he’s all we have left from Johnson, oh who knew toews was the man not pitt or the lou

  14. thefutureofoil - May 23, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Who would want a wing that disappears in the playoffs and costs $5 million? Seriously.

  15. kmboa90 - May 24, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Stop it with the Steelers commentary Yinzers, the adults are trying to talk. Capitals fans, please realize your team is irrelevant and Ovechkin is not a top 5 player. Flyers fans, I hate you but really have no response to what you say about Crosby. He used to throw goals in your face, now all he can do is act like a petulant child. As for the original post, I expect Neal to be traded, but I’d rather send that other playoff no-show Kunitz the door.

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