Penguins Re-Sign James Neal To Six Year Extension
The deal begins with the 2012-13 season and runs through the 2017-18 campaign, and has an average annual value of $5 million.
Neal, 24, has emerged as one of the top goal-scoring threats in the National Hockey League in his first full campaign with Pittsburgh this year. Playing most of the season on the Penguins’ top line alongside NHL scoring leader Evgeni Malkin, Neal currently ranks fourth in the NHL and second on the team with a career-high 30 goals.
This season Neal has established single-season career highs in points (56), power-play goals (13) and shots (242). Neal’s 242 shots lead the NHL, while his 13 man-advantage tallies are tied for the league lead.
A native of Whitby, Ontario, Neal was selected to play in his first NHL All-Star Game last month in Ottawa. On Saturday afternoon, he became the first Pittsburgh winger to reach the 30-goal mark since Alexei Kovalev in the 2001-02 season.
Since being acquired from the Dallas Stars on February 21st of last season along with Matt Niskanen, Neal has scored 31 goals, 31 assists and 62 points in 78 regular-season contests. He added two points (1G-1A) in seven postseason contests last spring.
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