According to a tweet from TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Dallas Stars have traded winger James Neal and defenceman Matt Niskanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Alex Goligoski.

Goligoski had been the subject of trade rumours in recent weeks with San Jose being a potential fit if the Sharks were willing to part with Devin Setoguchi. Neal, in theory, fits the bill of the elusive scoring winger that Pittsburgh has been seeking to skate alongside either Evgeni Malkin and/or Sidney Crosby. Malkin is out for the season while Crosby’s status is still unclear as he recovers from a concussion, so it remains to be seen when Neal will get a chance to skate with either.

Neal scored 21-goals and registered 39-points in 59 games with Dallas, and has one more year left on his contract that pays him $2.875 million in 2011-12 (all figures via CapGeek). Matt Niskanen is probably best known among Penguins fans as the guy that Sidney Crosby trounced in a fight earlier this season on November 3rd. Niskanen had six points (all assists) in 45 games with Dallas, he also has one more year left on his current contract at a cap hit of $1.5 million.

The addition of Goligoski to the Stars makes a lot of sense as they’ve coveted a true offensive defenceman for some time. In 60 games with Pittsburgh Goligoski registered nine goals and 31-points and is just six points shy of his career high mark from 2009-10. He comes with a very cap friendly salary of $1.83 million that runs until the end of next season.

The knock on James Neal of late has been his inability to generate offence in the absence of Brad Richards. Still, a quick look at some peripherals on him and he has some added value. His Corsi rating of 8.1 is best among everyday forwards on the Stars. Goligoski certainly has some deficiencies in his game which, with an increased role in Dallas, could become much more apparent.

Ray Shero appears to have scored a nice return in exchange for Goligoski. A straight Neal-Goligoski trade would have seen both teams address some needs, but the addition of Niskanen certainly gives the edge to Pittsburgh on this one.

With data from BehindTheNet

Comments (10)

  1. Good deal for the Pens if Syd comes back to set him up. He will be a 35 goal man easily.

  2. I agree, Neal could really pile up the goals if he has the opportunity to skate with Crosby. It’s all health permitting, of course.

  3. so i guess Nieuwendyk should look to move Richards if he’s healthy. it’s hard not to dislike the cost of Goligoski in this deal. author makes a good point about an offensive d-man being a need in dallas but what was nieuwendyk thinking tossing in Niskanen on this deal? neal’s production has really dipped with richards out but hes still a proven scorer. best of luck to him he could probably put up some great goal totals in pittsburgh when crosby gets back.

  4. I think my most appropriate response to this is: Wooooooooooooooo!!!

  5. I like this because I’m a big believer in Jamie Benn and this opens another spot for him up front on the Stars. Otherwise its a Pens victory in this trade at the moment.

  6. I agree with Scott on this.

    A Neal for Goligoski trade would have been pretty equal has stars are getting a good offensice d-men, he will even get better. But for Pittsburgh to get both Neal and Niskanen, We have to applaud Shero on this. Neal is a legitimite scorer in this league. He would have been a regular 30 goal scorer in Dallas but witth Crosby, who knows what he will do, but it wont be small. He’s a porwer Forward and will be for the next few years. He’s big , has a hard shot and has a nack for loose puck.

    But where Shero’s magic appears is Niskanen, in his first 2 years, he was revealed in a more offensive Defense. Although his number arent been that good in the past 2, he will benefit from a lower TOI with the D-corp the pens already have. He will be a nice fit in Pittsburgh

    The addition of Niskanen to Neal makes Pittsburgh an easy winner on this one.

  7. Agree w/ Rob that Jamie Benn’s value makes this deal palatable for Nieuwendyk and the Stars. Niskanen being thrown in doesn’t count for much as he’s been unable to live up to the rookie season hype and he’s beginning to look like a middling defenseman at best (personally I could see him being in the AHL in a year or two).

    Definitely a coup for the Pens though to finally bring in a legit young scoring winger that they can potentially even re-sign long term.

  8. richards to washington, for johansson and picks and some farm talent which washington has tonnes of. I will be steep, but will work and it is likely they could keep richards long term

    He will not be out much past the deadline, he will add to the PP in washington, getting to sign wont be much of a problem either they can ship a few guys out and bring in some guys from the minors who may not be ready but can eat minutes to rest them.

    It is either there or LA, benn and neal are of course better with richards, why do people not think they would dip when the top 8 point getter leaves, as well previous to richards leaving the whole team was in the gutter. Any winger would be left hanging if one of the leagues best players left their line

  9. [...] Ray Shero’s acquisition of young winger James Neal from the Dallas Stars on Sunday begins to fill the gaping offensive void. The likely return of Chris Kunitz from a lower body injury also mends some wounds, but [...]

  10. [...] a sign of confidence for us,” said Max Talbot when he was asked about the Pittsburgh Penguins recent trade that sent Alex Goligoski to Dallas for James Neal and Matt Niskanen.  He went on to talk about how Neal’s talents would improve the team, but the message was [...]

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