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James Neal eager to emerge as leader for Predators

Updated: Tuesday, July 1 2014, 05:42 AM CDT
Nashville Predators forward James Neal is eager to deliver offensive firepower for a franchise traditionally known for its defense.
  
The Predators acquired Neal in a Friday trade that sent forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling to the Pittsburgh Penguins. In a conference call Monday with local media, Neal said that, "I need to step up and be a top guy on the team, be a leader. I'm excited for that challenge."

Neal's addition reflects how the Predators are attempting to boost their offense under new coach Peter Laviolette after having a reputation as a defense-oriented team throughout the franchise's history.

The Predators ranked 19th in the league with 2.61 goals per game last season and missed the playoffs for a second straight year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.  All rights reserved.
James Neal eager to emerge as leader for Predators


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