The Pittsburgh Penguins announced via social media that they have re-signed forward Nick Spaling to a two year deal annually worth $2.2 million. Spaling was acquired along with Patric Hornqvist from the Nashville Predators in exchange for James Neal in June. He had been a restricted free agent.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) July 31, 2014
Spaling potted a career-high 13 goals last season along with 19 assists in 71 games played. He averaged a tick more than 13 minutes/game in mostly a grinder role among the Predators’ bottom six.
It’s curious that the team chose to tout his shot percentage as 15.7% in their tweet. That number is unsustainable for a player of Spaling’s caliber. For a frame of reference, Sidney Crosby’s career shooting percentage is 14.8% and he could probably hit your ear lobe with a wrist shot from a hundred feet away.
Instead, the Penguins will find their value in Spaling’s defensive play. He has often been matched against some of the best players on the opposition, and that’s likely the role that will be pressed upon him in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins suffered from a lack of depth at the forward position, which prompted their trade of James Neal. The team is hoping that Hornqvist can replace much of Neal’s offense while Spaling brings more of a complete game to the bottom six, which struggled mightily in the team’s second-round collapse against the New York Rangers.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins