I was praying for for 4.5, but at only half the term.
This is pretty damn excellent news.
I was figuring something in the 4 year, 20M to 5 year, 27M range if it was a quick deal. Better term, lower end on the cap hit . . . yeah, 4.5M would have been nice, but I think you knew there was no way it would be under 5M unless it was a two year deal that took Neal right into his first year of free agency eligibility.
Also, I'd like to add, with Neals wicked shot, playing along side Geno or Sid for the next six years, I'd say he's guaranteed to be a 30 goal scorer each season. Then you factor in his two way game, which is only going to improve over the years, he's going to be a steal in 3 years, if he's not already.
I've been saying this for a while, but he's our Hossa-lite. Neals defensive game is almost where Hossa's is, so, in my mind, the only thing Hossa is better at is puck handling and he's a slightly better passer.
I'm not sure he'll ever be able to improve his puck handling, to the point he can create offensive on his own, like Hossa, but as long as he's playing with one of our two centers, he doesn't really need to. His give and go ability he's displayed with Geno this season has been remarkable. Hopefully he stays on Geno's wing throughout his tenure here, because it's a thing of beauty.
Geno is having the time of his life right now, and that makes me so happy. It's good to see him rewarded with some talent for once, instead of always getting the leftovers.
I think this sets the cap for Staal's extension at 5m as well.
That's a great point. I've been worried that Staalsy was going to ask for too much given that he could otherwise play as a 2c or maybe 1c on a different team, probably for a bit of a raise from them. Plus, he's been finding the back of the net this season so...
I don't think it's too far of a stretch that Shero was aware of the potential effect that a Neal deal could have on a future Staal deal. Staalsy is a UFA after the 12-13 season.
So i pose these questions:
1. Think they'll try and hammer a contract over the summer for Staal?
2. Where do you think Staal stands? Expectations of terms/desire to stay at Pit/lack of desire to test the market?
(we can start a new thread if need be)
In terms of the Neal Deal, it's hard not to love it. After initially struggling, the kid looks to be playing the best hockey of his life and has some great chemistry with Geno. Is anybody reminded of a certain other duo in penguins history?