On Friday, the Penguins dealt James Neal to the Predators for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.
Neal missed 23 games this season, but still notched 27 goals and 34 assists (61 points) in the 59 games he did play. After a strong regular season, Neal struggled in the playoffs posting just four points (2G / 2A) in 13 games. The Penguins were looking to dump some salary but they part ways with a $5 million dollar cap-hit and take on a $4.25 million cap-hit in Hornqvist. Neal beams the focal point of the Predators offence and should produce around the same rate as he did on Evgeni Malkin's wing in Pittsburgh.
This is a good sign that he will be in the lineup tonight. If he was not cleared by doctors he likely would not be on the ice. We won't know for certain if he is in until right before puck-drop so make you have to make the call, but all signs pointing towards him being in.
Neal (concussion) skated this morning, needs medical clearance to play vs. Stars.
Neal missed the last two games with a concussion, but could return tonight. He was skating on his regular line and participated in power-play drills this morning. Both are signs that he will return, but he has to cleared first. "I still need to be cleared to play, that's the next step," said Neal. "I felt good today and all day yesterday. Moving in right direction" Monitor his status around 5 p.m ET when the Penguins are scheduled to arrive at the rink prior to their 7 p.m game vs. Dallas.
Neal (concussion) is reportedly symptom-free, but no decision on when he will play has been made.
Neal missed the home-and-home with the Flyers on the weekend and likely won't suit up on Tuesday. It is a great sign that he is already symptom-free and could potentially return on Thursday in Detroit.
It is a little surprising to see Neal on the ice just three days after being diagnosed with a concussion. Neal missed both games vs. the Flyers over the weekend, and likely won't be back on Tuesday vs. Dallas.
This explains why Neal has missed the last two days of practice. The injuries continue to pile up for the Penguins. Neal likely will not play over the weekend and will be monitored day-to-day after that. Brian Gibbons will move up and play on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Jussi Jokinen.
Neal (undisclosed) is not at practice for the second straight day.
Neal's absence from practice on Thursday was classified as a 'maintenance' day, but missing practice today as well is alarming. The Penguins take on the Flyers on Saturday, so monitor Neal's status during pre-game warmups tomorrow. Puck-drop is at 1 pm ET.
Neal (upper-body) says he is "ready to go" tonight vs. Florida.
The Penguins held Neal out of Wednesday's contest because of an upper-body injury, with four days off in between games it was the smart decision to get their sniper back to 100 per cent. He has 36 points (17G / 19A) and a plus-9 rating in 27 games this season. Activate him in all formats.
Neal (upper-body) is not on the ice for the Penguins pre-game warmup.
It looks like Neal will not play tonight vs. the Capitals and Pierre Letourneau-Leblond will draw into the lineup. This is a little surprising because Neal made it sound like he was going to play this morning. Consider him day-to-day.
Neal (upper-body) is skating on his regular line at morning skate.
Neal missed the last two days of practice and was listed as questionable for tonight's game, but his presence at the morning skate is a good sign that he could be available tonight. We will get an official word following the a.m skate.
Neal (upper-body) is day-to-day and listed as questionable for Wednesday's contest.
The Penguins have said that this upper-body injury is not related to the one that kept him out in December. He has not been ruled out for Wednesday's game, but if he can't play it would leave an already shorthanded team even more depleted. Neal has registered seven goals and nine assists (16 points) in his last 11 games.
Neal is skating on the Penguins top-line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz.
Neal has skated on this line for a few shifts in recent games, but it appears he will skate there in tonight's game vs. the Rangers. Skating with Crosby should obviously help Neal rack up the points. He has four goals and five assists in six games since returning from his five-game suspension. He has totalled 30 points (14G / 16A) in 22 games.
James Neal returns to the Penguins' lineup tonight after serving his five game suspension.
Neal has been on-fire when in the lineup tonight. He has recorded 10 goals and 10 assists (20 points) in 16 games. He will skate on a line with Jussi Jokinen for sure, who his other linemate is remains to be seen.
James Neal has been suspended five games for kneeing Bruins forward Brad Marchand on Saturday.
The five games is the max a player can be suspended over a phone hearing. Neal will not be eligible to return until December 19 against the Minnesota Wild. Jayson Megna will skate in Neal's spot next to Evgeni Malkin tonight.