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James Neal | Winger

Team: Nashville Predators
Age / DOB:  (27) / 9/3/1987
Ht / Wt:  6'2' / 208
Contract: view contract details
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Recent News

James Neal will be an assistant captain for the Nashville Predators this season.
Injured center Mike Fisher will also wear an "A' for the Preds, while Shea Weber will continue to serve as the team's captain. "With Fish and Webs being here a long time, they're both local guys and great guys at that," Neal said. "I'm just going to chip in everywhere I can. I want to take this team to the next level and that's taking it to the playoffs. That's our goal." Roman Josi is slated to get a letter on his jersey while Fisher is sidelined, but there will apparently be a rotation. Oct 9 - 5:12 PM

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Date:

James Neal scored Nashville’s first power play goal of the preseason in Saturday’s loss to Columbus.

Despite all the time the Predators have spent working on their power play, they still went just one for 21 on the man-advantage in the preseason. "We spent a lot of time on the power play this week, penalty kill, specialty teams, trying to make sure those are lock down," coach Peter Laviolette said earlier Saturday. "There's been a lot of good things on both, but I think with the power we are looking to get on the board and score some goals."
Oct 5 - 9:12 AM

James Neal sniped a goal for the Predators in their 3-2 loss to the Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

Neal is expected to carry the load on offense for a team that has had trouble finding the back of the net in recent seasons. He'll be able to further define himself this year as either one of the game's best scorers or just a product of an exceptional center (Evgeni Malkin). Eric Nystrom had the other goal. Ryan Ellis and Mike Ribeiro chipped in with the helpers. Pekka Rinne made 20 saves on 23 shots, playing the entire game in his regular season tune-up.
Oct 4 - 9:52 PM

Nashville backup goalie Carter Hutton has been impressed by the shot of James Neal during informal skates.

"A lot of guys give you more information. You can kind of read where pucks are going," Hutton said. "With him it's hard to pick up his stick blade and where it goes from there. He's one of those shooters who is very patient. He gives a lot of false information, and moves the puck in a lot of locations. He's one of those guys where you have to be patient." Neal said his shot selection will change based on where he is on the ice and a goaltender's tendencies. The former Penguins winger is expected to add an offensive element to the Predators that the team hasn't had in a while and a 30-goal campaign should be in the cards.
Sep 8 - 5:28 PM

Former Predators winger and ex-Pittsburgh Penguin Steve Sullivan likes Nashville's acquisition of James Neal.

"I think Nashville fans are going to see the most pure, natural goal scorer they've seen in the team's history in James Neal," said Sullivan. "I had a chance to play with James for a year in Pittsburgh, and he can score from anywhere. He's a threat on the ice all the time. He's a fast skater, he explodes out of the gates really quick. His shot release is ridiculous, so I'm hoping he can continue that and scoring some big goals." Neal will probably be able to hit the 30-goal mark this season. If he does that would make him the first player to accomplish the feat since Patric Hornqvist, who Neal was traded for, reached that total in 2009-10.
Aug 27 - 6:09 PM

It's a bit surprising that the Nashville Predators saved money by acquiring James Neal.

Nick Spaling will make $2.2 million next season in Pittsburgh and Patric Hornqvist will earn $4.25 million, while Neal will receive $5 million. The Predators acquired the best player in the deal and they freed up some salary cap space, which looks pretty good on paper. He does lose fantasy value in Nashville, but there's still a chance that he could outscore Hornqvist this season.
Aug 20 - 5:17 PM

James Neal sees the Predators as his opportunity for a fresh start.

"Your emotion gets the better of you," said Neal. There were things that have happened in my game that you regret. I have to change and be better for it. I've changed as a player, I've grown as a player. I'm still young, I have a very long way to go. Mistakes happen and I'm going to be better for it and move forward and not let that stuff happen again." He has some character issues and the tendency to run around on the ice, looking for trouble when things aren't going his way. If he can take that aspect out of his game then he will be better for it. Neal has an excellent release and one-timer, which he used to score 40 goals in 2011-12. He has surpassed the 20-goal mark in each of his six NHL seasons. Repeating that feat in Nashville will be more difficult, but he has the tools to do it.
Jul 5 - 6:37 PM

The Nashville Predators are hoping that acquiring James Neal will make top-end forwards more interested in signing with them.

Predators GM David Poile confirmed that he's still in the market for skilled forwards. If nothing else, a guy like Paul Stastny, who is projected to enter the unrestricted free agent market, will know that they'll have a great linemate to work with in Nashville.
Jun 29 - 10:53 AM

Now that they have acquired a top left winger in James Neal, the Predators may be in the market for a top-line center to pair with him.

Nashville is said to be looking at the Sens' Jason Spezza, However, Spezza would have to waive his no-trade clause to Nashville to make a deal work. The Preds could also pursue UFA Paul Stastny if he does re-sign with the Avalanche. If Nashville doesn't get a top pivot, look for Mike Fisher or rookie Calle Jarnkrok to play alongside Neal this upcoming season.
Jun 28 - 1:09 PM

The Nashville Predators have acquired James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins give up a high scoring winger and they get Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling in return. Neal will line up on the top line with the Preds and will take a big hit fantasy-wise as he will not be playing with either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin but rather Mike Fisher or Colin Wilson.
Jun 27 - 8:06 PM

James Neal denied the rumors that he's requesting a trade.

"I love being a Pittsburgh Penguin. I hope to remain a Penguin and win as a Penguin," Neal said. He signed a six-year, $30 million contract with Pittsburgh that will take him through the 2017-18 campaign, which is a pretty appealing cap hit given that he's averaged about a point-per-game over the last three seasons.
May 23 - 12:00 PM

James Neal had just four points in 13 playoff games.

Neal is one of the Penguins' best forwards and his struggles in the 2014 playoffs contributed to the team's second round exit. "We did everything we could to ... win a Game 7, and it makes it even harder when you have a stranglehold on a series and can't finish it off," Neal said. "At the end of the day, you need to score goals in the biggest moments, and we didn't do that."
May 14 - 11:40 AM

James Neal has one goal on a team-high 21 shots during Pittsburgh's second-round series against the New York Rangers.

He posted seven shots and 12 penalty minutes in Game 6, but was held off the scoresheet for a second straight contest. Neal has recorded just two goals in 12 postseason appearances.
May 13 - 12:43 PM

James Neal is starting to heat up after a slow start to the postseason.

Neal had one goal and no assists in the Penguins' six-game series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He has a goal and three points in Pittsburgh's first four contests versus the New York Rangers though, including an assist in Wednesday's game.
May 8 - 9:45 AM

James Neal scored his second goal of the playoffs in Friday’s Game 1, tying the game with the Rangers in the second period in the eventual 3-2 overtime loss.

Neal was set up by Jussi Jokinen and Evgeni Malkin as Pittsburgh erased a two goal first period deficit. Neal has struggled offensively in these playoffs with just two points through seven games compared to his usual point-per-game pace. Lee Stempniak scored the first Penguins goal.
May 2 - 10:09 PM

Depth Charts

All Positions
PosRoleName
C1Mike Ribeiro
2Olli Jokinen
3Calle Jarnkrok
4Paul Gaustad
5Mike Fisher
LW1Matt Cullen
2Viktor Stalberg
3Gabriel Bourque
4Colin Wilson
RW1James Neal
2Craig Smith
3Filip Forsberg
4Richard Clune
5Eric Nystrom
6Taylor Beck
D1Shea Weber
2Roman Josi
3Seth Jones
4Ryan Ellis
5Mattias Ekholm
6Anton Volchenkov
7Victor Bartley
G1Pekka Rinne
2Carter Hutton