Skip to content

Penguins GM Rutherford wanted to ‘change the mix’ with Neal trade

Jun 27, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins v Washington Capitals Getty Images

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.

His most recent transgression: kneeing Boston Bruins agitator Brad Marchand in the head in December, resulting in a five-game ban.

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.

Stay tuned.

Latest Posts
  1. Benning trying to figure where Markstrom ‘fits in’

    May 22, 2015, 2:24 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    Canucks GM witnessed the goalie get a shutout in the AHL playoffs.

  2. TVR won’t play Game 4, but he’s ‘cleared to participate’

    May 22, 2015, 1:41 PM EDT

    Trevor van Riemsdyk Getty Images

    Coach Q: “He’ll need a few days out here. We’ll get an evaluation and go from there.”

  3. ’16 Draft prospect Bellows, son of Brian, wins USHL Rookie of the Year

    May 22, 2015, 1:38 PM EDT

    Bellows

    Son of ex-NHLer Brian is off to Boston University next year.

  4. Video: Emotional Babcock says good-bye to Detroit

    May 22, 2015, 1:05 PM EDT

    Babcock

    “It’s been real special, to say the least.”

  5. Columbus goalie prospect Dansk bolts for Sweden

    May 22, 2015, 12:47 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets

    The third ‘tender taken at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft had a rough first pro season in North America.

  6. Wild re-sign AHL Iowa assists leader Keranen

    May 22, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Petteri Lindbohm, Michael Keranen Getty Images

    Finnish forward joined the organization last year after solid production in the SM-liiga.

  7. Bolts rule Carle (undisclosed) out for Game 4

    May 22, 2015, 12:03 PM EDT

    Matt Carle Getty Images

    No word on who’ll draw in as a replacement.

  8. Blackhawks recall van Riemsdyk

    May 22, 2015, 11:40 AM EDT

    Trevor van Riemsdyk Getty Images

    No word yet if he’ll be able to play right away.

  9. Twins joining Triplets? Watch out if Stamkos, Killorn keep heating up

    May 22, 2015, 11:15 AM EDT

    Steve Stamkos, Alex Killorn AP

    We really need to get these combos better nicknames, though.

  10. All eyes on Lundqvist

    May 22, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three Getty Images

    The Rangers need The King to play like one tonight.

  11. Bettman refutes link between concussions and CTE

    May 22, 2015, 10:25 AM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Ottawa Senators - Game Six Getty Images

    He also reiterates that the salary cap will be about $71M.

  12. Video: ‘I got bumped the whole game,’ says Crawford

    May 22, 2015, 1:30 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Ducks trying to make life miserable for Chicago’s goalie.

Featured video

Babcock has his work cut out in Toronto
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Versteeg (1404)
  2. B. Boyle (1398)
  3. H. Lundqvist (1395)
  4. R. Callahan (1367)
  5. P. Kane (1317)