Penguins’ Crosby OK with Neal comments about trade |

Penguins’ Crosby OK with Neal comments about trade

Chaz Palla | Trib Total Media
Penguins center Sidney Crosby plays against the Ducks Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 at Consol Enrgy Center.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Sidney Crosby likes James Neal and considers him a friend. The two got together Friday night in Nashville.

Perhaps that’s why Crosby said he wasn’t troubled by Neal’s comments to the Tribune-Review on Thursday when the Predators right wing said he felt “blindsided” by his offseason trade from Pittsburgh and was not pleased with general manager Jim Rutherford and coach Mike Johnston for never speaking with him beforehand.

“It’s a tough situation,” Crosby said. “I don’t necessarily think (Rutherford and Johnston) had spoken with each person at that point. (Neal) felt like he wanted to talk with somebody. It’s never easy. But it’s tough to say because I don’t think everyone on the team had talked with (Rutherford and Johnston) either. It might have hurt him a little more had everyone else spoken with them.”

Although Neal developed a reputation for being abrasive with the media during his four seasons with the Penguins, he generally was liked by teammates.

Crosby and Neal, both 27, became friends during their time together in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins captain admitted it was difficult to see Neal traded.

“We spent a lot of time together,” Crosby said. “Like any teammate, it’s not easy to see someone get traded. We were a similar age, spent time together.”

Other Penguins are aware of Neal’s unhappiness with the situation. None, however, was critical of the Penguins’ approach.

“It’s really not my business,” right wing Craig Adams said. “When you get traded, it’s never a fun thing. It can leave a bitter taste in your mouth. There’s really no good way for that to go.”

Neal has scored five goals this season.

Predators general manager David Poile declined to say whether former general manager Ray Shero gave him a scouting report on Neal. But Poile is delighted with what he has witnessed. He traded forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling in return for Neal, the only 40-goal scorer at wing for the Penguins during the Crosby era.

“I can tell you this,” Poile said. “James Neal has fit in really well with us so far. We are getting exactly what we wanted out of this trade.”

The Penguins are pleased with their return. Hornqvist has recorded four goals on Crosby’s line, and Spaling has been a two-way presence.

“I think Pittsburgh got exactly what it wanted, too,” Poile said. “It is one of those classic deals that is going to be a good deal for both teams.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.