After yesterday's big trade, the Pittsburgh Penguins have lost James Neal to the Nashville Predators. But they also brought back forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. Since we in Pittsburgh don't get to see Nashville a ton, we asked our friend Jon from On the Forecheck (the excellent Preds blog on SB Nation) to give us some 4-1-1 on the newest Penguins.
He isn't a flashy guy by any means, but he can play anywhere he's put and will immediately improve the Pens' forward depth. His 33 points this past year are a little bit smoke and mirrors, especially since his shooting % was way above the norm for him, and he spent more time on the PP. It was weird to see him there, to be honest.Still, he could be counted on for 10ish goals a season in Nashville, so maybe that will increase in Pittsburgh. Also, you don't see too many broken hearts over him just because of the dearth of 3rd line guys that the Preds have.
Hornqvist on the other hand is a different story. He's been a fan favorite for years and is one of only four players to crack 30 goals in franchise history. That's pretty incredible considering he was the last overall pick. Though he hasn't hit that number again, I wouldn't be shocked to see him do it over there with real line mates. Hornqvist does great work in front of the net and is one of the few people that voluntarily stand in front of a Shea Weber slapshot. He'll add a presence to the power play and get under the skin of the opposition.Perhaps unknown to many outside Nashville, he's an incredible locker room guy. He's worn the "A" for the last two seasons, gives everything he's got when he's playing (regardless of score) and is just an overall great person. That is going to be the part that Nashville will miss the most. Even better? He's led or been near the top of Nashville's possession metrics for the last four years. He missed out this year, but was still above 51%.