This one isn’t a slam dunk because Patric Hornqvist was a vital player for the Predators before being dealt in this trade for James Neal.
With that said, Neal was an electric player for the Predators as they built up into a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. He was clutch, showed that raw emotion and passion you love, and was just plain fun to watch.
At worst, you can call this trade a push because Hornqvist has remained a pretty important player in his own right to Pittsburgh while Neal was dumbfoundedly not protected in the expansion draft and lost to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Even with that, Neal had three outstanding seasons for the Predators scoring 77 goals, with 14 of those goals being game-winners. Two more game-winning goals came in the 2017 playoff run that ended in the Stanley Cup Final.
It would’ve been nice to see Neal stick around in Nashville for another couple of seasons as the team preceded to enter a gradual decline that they’re still dealing with now.