Jun 27, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT
Jim Rutherford is beginning to put his stamp on the Pittsburgh Penguins as the new general manager. He started that by trading James Neal to the Nashville Predators for winger Patric Hornqvist and center Nick Spaling.
It was the biggest trade made during the actual draft, following a flurry of activity, particularly from the Vancouver Canucks earlier in the day.
“I think we were just trying to change the mix of our team a little bit and get a little different type player,” Rutherford told reporters in Philadelphia.
“Hornqvist plays with an edge, goes to the net, works the corners. We like his all-around play.”
A talented forward who has proven to be a scorer in the NHL – he put up a career-high 40 goals only two years ago – Neal has also dealt with injuries on numerous occasions, including concussions, and has run afoul of the league’s player safety department and, as a result, has received supplemental discipline.
Rutherford was asked about whether the suspensions played a part in why Neal was traded.
“Everything comes into play when we’re looking at possibly moving a player,” he said.
Meanwhile, the other team is this trade, the Predators, not only land the scoring forward it coveted, but could be taking a shot at landing a center when free agency officially opens up.
That could certainly spark speculation the Predators could be eying pending unrestricted free agent Paul Stastny, who has confirmed he will test the market. Nashville’s club doesn’t appear to be alone in that pursuit.
On Thursday, there was a report from TSN’s Pierre LeBrun that as many as 15 teams had interest in the 28-year-old Stastny.
- Red Wings take over third period, blank Ovechkin in win 6
- Video: Doc Emrick’s heartfelt words about Gordie Howe 4
- Rangers’ Moore suspended five games for ‘extremely difficult’ Haula hit 18
- Ovechkin looking to avoid career-long scoring slump tonight 11
- Nolan skates Sabres, says the time for ‘taking it easy is over’ 36
- Report: Gryba, Tropp avoid punishment after getting tossed for hits 6
- What they’re saying about the Sabres (and it’s not good) 22
- NHL on NBCSN: Caps, Red Wings battle after hotly contested 13-14 series 5
- Miller wins 300th, Canes finish Oct. without single victory 7
- Video: Backes crashes into Daley, falls to ice hard (Updated) 5
- Video: John Moore with an elbow to the head of Erik Haula (Updated) (61)
- Report: Varlamov being sued by ex-girlfriend (47)
- Kreider calls Brodin hit a ‘bang-bang play,’ doesn’t plan to dramatically change his game (45)
- No hearing scheduled for Kreider after Brodin hit (44)
- Kopitar out, Lombardi irate as Kings will play shorthanded vs. Flyers (40)