Nick Spaling, Penguins settle on two-year, $4.4 million deal
Nick Spaling, acquired as part of the James Neal trade with the Nashville Predators, signed a two-year deal with the Penguins to avoid arbitration.
After acquiring Nick Spaling as part of the trade with the Nashville Predators that sent James Neal the other way, the Pittsburgh Penguins have struck a deal with the restricted free agent forward. Spaling was due for an arbitration hearing Thursday morning. The deal comes with a $2.2 million annual average according to the team's announcement.
Spaling was reportedly seeking $2.85 million in arbitration while the Penguins countered at $1.65 million, so this is pretty close to the middle of those two offers.
The $2.2 million annual average represents a nice raise for Spaling who made $1.5 million last season while with the Predators. The 25-year-old forward had a career year in 2013-14 with 32 points including 13 goals in 71 games. Spaling also averaged a career-best 16:01 per game.
In 297 career NHL games, all with the Predators, Spaling has recorded 84 points. He is a former second-round draft pick.
For the Penguins, Spaling will help improve the bottom of the team’s lineup which was woeful last season. The question is whether or not he brings $2 million-plus worth of improvement as a depth forward. If he continues his upward career trend, then it’s possible.
Pittsburgh now has about $4.2 million in cap space remaining with Brandon Sutter left to re-sign as a restricted free agent.
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