You could do worse than to launch your new season and new show with James Neal’s face. The Preds’ “Beneath the Ice” series debuted the other night with 6-plus minutes of what James is good at off the ice.
1. Sitting like a boy.
(Remember when John Tavares was the only one with media training, and that was at 14? This is Exhibit A.)
2. Politely discussing that time Pittsburgh dumped him via Post-It Note.
Wait, James isn’t good with media! Who is this guy? Maybe he didn’t need to be trained this time around. Someone still shouldn’t let him sit like Homer Simpson.
3. Asking to have his roster photo retaken. Hey, if he doesn’t critique it, someone (around here) will! And for the record, it looks great.
4. Wearing a shirt that’s too small.
5. Being unfamiliar with imperfect hair. Push it back? Are these bangs or curtains?
So, is this grown-up James Neal starting over? Nashville is a promising market with a new coach and new system. It’s a chance to prove himself on the ice, to let his talent speak and shut his temper down. Hockey media, not without reason, are skeptical – though I thought the word “castoff” in this Puck Daddy piece was harsh. Turns out I’m protective (and only I’m allowed to give James shit for being an idiot!). Nashville press seem to have embraced the potential, and it will be up to James what they have to say about him.
We got our Rich Clune Foxy Friday posted just in time: he was placed on waivers by Nashville. Rich’s mom RT’d the Foxy Friday, which is the highest honor in the land and we can now retire. Luckily for Neal, Clune cleared waivers and was assigned to Milwaukee. Let’s hope Rich left a stocked fridge for Nealer and gets recalled to the Preds soon.
We need more of this:
In the next episode of Beneath the Ice, James drives a car and asks for directions. Lost and boring. It was filmed prior to Clune’s departure but this better not be what James turns into with Rich gone. Don’t get too nice, buddy.
Nah, we can’t leave it there! Here’s James’ hat trick from last week:
Tags: james neal, nashville predators