Kapanen to PIT

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Re: Kapanen to PIT

Postby Sigwolf on Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:40 pm

How many hockey trades are of the one-for-one skillset variety? I think that Neal was a bad locker-room presence, and needed to be removed. His failure to stick *anywhere* reinforces that. Hornqvist performed a role that the team badly needed, and Neal did not provide at all. Neal's goal production was later replaced. Seems like a pretty standard hockey trade. I was thrilled with it at the time, and nothing has changed that opinion. Neal was great on the stat sheet, but he was just bad news. The positives of his removal more than outweighed the team lost goal potential.
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Re: Kapanen to PIT

Postby Cow_Master66 on Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:44 pm

netwolf wrote:I didn't like the Hornqvist deal at the time, but it's hard not to view it as a net positive now. I don't think it was an A+ deal though for two reasons. First, Spaling was a drag on the deal. He gave them very little on the ice. A mid-sized prospect or puck would've been better. I think that might have been the year a cap crunch forced the Pens to dress 5 D too, which isn't ideal. Second, the offense they lost for an improved "fit" was addressed with the addition of Kessel later on. The Hornqvist/Neal swap probably needed to happen, but if they don't get Kessel to make up for the list goals, I don't know if that swap is viewed as successful.


Spaling played over 400 games in the NHL so it’s pretty hard to argue that a prospect or pick would have been better. Say what you want about his time here but he had himself a decent career...
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Re: Kapanen to PIT

Postby longtimefan on Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:21 pm

Cow_Master66 wrote:
netwolf wrote:I didn't like the Hornqvist deal at the time, but it's hard not to view it as a net positive now. I don't think it was an A+ deal though for two reasons. First, Spaling was a drag on the deal. He gave them very little on the ice. A mid-sized prospect or puck would've been better. I think that might have been the year a cap crunch forced the Pens to dress 5 D too, which isn't ideal. Second, the offense they lost for an improved "fit" was addressed with the addition of Kessel later on. The Hornqvist/Neal swap probably needed to happen, but if they don't get Kessel to make up for the list goals, I don't know if that swap is viewed as successful.


Spaling played over 400 games in the NHL so it’s pretty hard to argue that a prospect or pick would have been better. Say what you want about his time here but he had himself a decent career...


The Spaling part of the deal was an early indication of JR understanding his mandate when hired. No futures. Agree or disagree, JR's been doing it ever since. What screwed it up was Spaling winning his arbitration case, which was a symptom of the cap problems that season. Which may be why he's so adamant about avoiding arbitration this year. Experience teaches lessons.

As far as the scoring lost, I want to burst the Neal balloon. He's constantly referred to as a 40 goal scorer. He did it once. Yes, injuries were a factor, but his second highest total here was 27, and his second highest career best was 31 with Nashville in '15-'16. For his career, he has 289 goals in 821 games. He GPG is .352 for his career. PPG are .664. Very good. His 82 game average is 28.86G and 54.43 Pts.

Hornqvist may not be as dynamic offensively, but it might not be as big a difference as you think. Horny has 238 goals in 770 games, for a GPG of .309 for his career. He has an average of .623 PPG. So his 82 game average is 25.34G and 51.08 Pts.

It's not correct to say bringing in Hornqvist downgraded their scoring. The first season after the deal was 2014-15, and Neal scored 23 goals for the Preds, while Horny had 25 for the Pens. Neal played 67 games, and Hornqvist 64. The next season the Pens added offense when they acquired Kessel, but Horny replaced Neal's offense on his own that first season. As far as points, Horny outscored Neal 51 to 38.

Neal did outscore Horny the next season, 31-22. But the Pens won the Cup. As you said, Kessel softened the blow. The third season saw Neal score 23 to Horny's 21, but Hornqvist got the cup winning goal against Neal's Preds. The 31 goal season was the only other time Neal has scored 30. His highest total otherwise was 27, which he did twice, once in Dallas, once here.

Since the trade was completed, Hornqvist has played 407 games with 132G and 264Pts. All with the Pens. That's an 82 game average of 26.59G and 53.19Pts. Neal has played 408 games split up among four teams. He has 128G and 230Pts. An 82 game average of 25.73G and 46.23Pts.

I wanted to point out how close their production has been, but the exercise even surprised me. At the time of the trade, Neal's stats were more impressive. But a trade isn't about past performance, it's about future projections. In that context, Horny's been the more productive offensive player. Besides all the other attributes that he's brought.
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Re: Kapanen to PIT

Postby OKpensfan247 on Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:53 pm

Great post longtimefan.

Appreciate the work/detail. I would not have guessed those stats.
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