Published On: Wed, Aug 24th, 2016

Predators' Neal: New teammate Subban 'gets under your skin'

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Shea Weber is one of the toughest guys to play against. It turns out he’s been replaced by a similar type of player.

Related: Blackhawks’ Toews thanks Weber for leaving Central Division

Nashville Predators forward James Neal spoke to Brooks Bratten of, and explained that he’s looking forward to not having to face P.K. Subban anymore.

“He’s a guy that you get into it with, you don’t like playing against him,” said Neal. “He’s a guy that gets under your skin, and plays the game well when he’s under a guy’s skin, so it’s better having him on your team than playing against him.

“He has a great shot, great hockey sense and great ability to do good things with the puck. He’s a distributor and a goal scorer and he does it all. With the way our defensemen look right now, we have some great young defensemen who can skate and make plays and do everything … It’s an exciting time for Preds hockey.”

With Weber now a member of the Montreal Canadiens, there’s a captain vacancy in Nashville. Being among the team’s elder players certainly makes Neal a possible candidate, but whether he’s ultimately chosen as Weber’s successor or not, Neal insists he will continue to be a leader for his teammates.

“Regardless of what happens, I came in here to be a leader, to be an older guy and someone that guys can lean on, someone that leads by example and someone that can be vocal as well,” Neal said. “I’ve been around a lot of different leaders; older guys and veterans and younger captains, so I feel I have a good grasp of how things are done. We’ll see what happens, but we have a few guys who are definitely capable of doing a great job.”

Neal concluded his second season with the Predators by contributing 31 goals and 58 points, good enough for third in team scoring.

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