Ray Shero was busy shuffling the deck for another Cup run today, trading 25-year-old defenseman Alex Goligoski to Dallas for LW James Neal, 23, and D Matt Niskanen, age 24. And to answer your next question, yes, that would be the same Niskanen who fought Sidney Crosby this past November.
Niskanen was a 2005 1st-round pick and had six assists in 45 games in 2010-11. He is signed through next season at a cap hit of $1.5 million, and goes 6'0", 200 pounds.
Neal, a 2nd-rounder in '05, has notched 21 goals and 18 assists thus far in the '10-'11 campaign for the Stars and should fit in nicely with the Penguins. He's been a 20-goal scorer in each of his three NHL seasons and , like Niskanen, is also signed through the end of next season, although at a higher rate of $2.875 million.
Goligoski, a member of the 2008-09 Stanley Cup champion Penguins team, has nine goals and 22 assists in 60 games with the Pens this season. Like the other two players involved in the deal, he is signed through the end of the '11-'12 season, and is slated to earn $1.833 million.
Early indications make me think this is a pretty favorable deal for Shero and the Pens, but Trader Ray may not be done dealing just yet. The PG is reporting that they will be making a serious run at Ottawa's Alexei Kovalev, the 37-year-old ex-Penguin who has struggled in scoring 14 goals in 53 games this season.