Nick Spaling LW TOR 2 months ago

Maple Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas said that Spaling will move back to center during the upcoming season.

With the Penguins already having Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Brandon Sutter on hand as down-the-middle players last season, Spaling played almost exclusively on the wing during his time in Pittsburgh. While it enabled him to see more frequent ice time than would otherwise be afforded to him, Spaling is a more natural fit at center, the position he played during his five-year run with the Penguins. The Maple Leafs' depth chart remains in flux at the moment with Tyler Bozak believed to be on the trading block, but even if Bozak is moved, Spaling might have to settle for third- or fourth-line duties.

Nick Spaling LW TOR 2 months ago

Spaling was traded Wednesday to the Maple Leafs along with forward Kasperi Kapanen, defenseman Scott Harrington, and first- and third-round draft picks in 2016 in exchange for forwards Phil Kessel and Tyler Biggs, defenseman Tim Erixon, and a 2016 second-round pick, Sportsnet.ca reports.

Promising prospects Kapanen and Harrington represent the primary gets in the deal for the Leafs, with Spaling and his $2.2 million cap hit for 2015-16 amounting to a salary dump. The 26-year-old tallied 27 points in 82 games for the Penguins last season and should fulfill a depth role for his new team.

Nick Spaling LW TOR 4 months ago

Spaling tallied the Penguins' lone goal of the evening in Friday's Game 5 loss to the Rangers.

Spaling's offensive output Friday (one goal, three shots on net) essentially exceeded the whole of his production from the prior four games of the series (no goals, one assist, two shots). Of course, the Penguins probably weren't expecting Spaling to post any crooked scoring numbers in his third-line role, and few poolies likely rolled the dice with the winger either, after he generated only eight goals and 27 points over 82 regular-season contests.

Nick Spaling LW TOR 5 months ago

Coach Mike Johnston said that he "expects" Spaling (lower body) will be in the lineup Friday against the Islanders, Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

The coach characterized Spaling as "banged up" after Tuesday's loss to the Senators, but after the forward returned to the ice for Friday's morning skate, it appears those injury concerns have mostly subsided. If the Penguins are able to come away with a win Friday to claim a playoff spot, there's a chance that Johnston could let Spaling pick up some rest for what would be a meaningless season finale Saturday against the Sabres.

Nick Spaling LW TOR 5 months ago

Coach Mike Johnston said Thursday that Spaling has a lower-body injury, but is expected to play Friday against the Islanders, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Spaling would probably be rested had the Penguins already secured a playoff spot, but with their hopes for the postseason still hanging in the balance, expect the bottom-six forward to suit up Friday. His availability will likely be verified by his participation in Friday's morning skate.

Nick Spaling LW TOR 5 months ago

Spaling assisted on both Pittsburgh goals Tuesday in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Blues.

He'd gone five straight off the scoresheet before this little outburst and is a generally unreliable offensive contributor, with a modest 25 points to show for the season. At age 26, he's not showing any sign of developing into anything more than a bottom-six forward.

Nick Spaling LW TOR 6 months ago

Spaling registered an assist in Thursday's 6-4 win over the Oilers.

The assist snapped a 10-game pointless skid for Spaling, representing his longest drought of the season. Locked into a bottom-six role with the Penguins, Spaling shouldn't be expected to provide offense with much consistency.

Nick Spaling LW TOR 7 months ago

Spaling tallied a goal in Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Red Wings.The return of Blake Comeau (upper body) to the lineup bumped Spaling off the Evgeni Malkin line, but the winger was able to pick up his eighth goal of the season despite the dropoff in talent surrounding him. With 21 points over 54 games, Spaling isn't much more than a complementary scorer for the Penguins, limiting his value to deeper formats.

Nick Spaling LW TOR 8 months ago

Spaling finished with an assist and a plus-2 rating over his 17:40 of ice time in Tuesday's win over the Wild.

The forward has assists in three of his last five games, during which he's provided a collective plus-6 rating. Spaling's plus/minus should remain strong while he continues to see favorable matchups on the Pens' second line, but he'll need to show an uptick in shot attempts (just five in his last five games) to warrant a pickup in most formats.

Nick Spaling LW TOR 8 months ago

Spaling scored one goal and assisted on a second one in Pittsburgh's 3-1 win over the Panthers on Saturday.

He scored from long range for a soft goal on Florida netminder, Roberto Luongo. Spaling's stint as a top-six forward is mostly over, given the Pens' improving health (at the forward position), but he continues to produce. Spaling now has two goals and six points in his last six games.