Pens sign Spaling — two years, $4.4 million

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have come to terms on a two-year, $4.4 million contract with forward Nick Spaling, avoiding arbitration with the newly acquired 25-year-old in the process.

Spaling’s case was scheduled to be heard today. Only P.K. Subban still has an arbitration hearing scheduled (for tomorrow).

One of the two pieces (the other being Patric Hornqvist) that came to Pittsburgh in the James Neal trade with the Nashville, Spaling had 13 goals and 19 assists in 71 games for the Predators last season. With the Penguins, it’s hoped he’ll provide some much-needed depth to a team that couldn’t get out of the second round in 2014, even with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Upon trading Neal, Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford called Spaling a “very versatile player” who was a “very important” part of the deal.

With Spaling’s contract done, Rutherford’s focus should now turn to restricted free agent Brandon Sutter, who did not file for arbitration.