Big Lead Sports Bar


Pens Deal Goligoski to Dallas for James Neal, Matt Niskanen

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.  


Koz said...

Kovalev has struggled to sore 14, but he would lead the Pens in goals among active players (not including the newly acquired Neal).

Considering he's playing for garbage Ottawa, that's not horrible. If the price is reasonable, a late draft pick for example, I say, "Do it."

okel dokel said...

@ Koz - I agree Kovalev only if the price is good and low.

Liked the trade although the anemic Power Play (Powered by WBS) was even more disorganized last night.

Good game last night. They fought hard and out worked the Caps IMO. The lack of scoring talent hurts them.

Steve said...

Great trade regardless of whether or not Crosby even plays again this season. Neal is a good young power forward winger who can actually score and will only get better if allowed to play with Crosby. Goligoski was IMO a luxury, considering the depth they have at defense and with players coming up (Despres) and others like Grant and Strait. just like Whitney, the Pens won't miss him.

Bedsides Goligoski was due to make $2.7 mil. next season and isn't/wasn't worth it, not unless getting run over by the oppositions forcheck is a desirable quality in a defensman.

Kovalev might be worth signing if they can get him for a late pick, or a prospect. I think he can be a better player again with the Pens offense and he might be a good fit with Malkin next season. He definately couldn't hurt the PP that's for sure.

Next season, the additions of Neal and maybe Kovalev and with players like Conner and Sterling possibly making the roster, they could be a much more exciting team offensively.

Koz said...

Anyone else "winning free iPads" when they click to comment?

Another benefit of the "new partnership" with the Big Lead, I guess.

Yuck. Do not want.

As for business, Kovalev is only signed through this year. He wouldn't figure into long term plans without a new contract, and that's not a good idea at all, unless he's willing to take a huge paycut.

Steve said...

I think Kovy will be taking a huge pay cut no matter where he signs. At 37 and with the cap forcing a lot of players his age into retirement, he'll be lucky to get $2 mil. a year for two years and probably won't even get that.

That said, the Pens will be saving $2 mil. simply by Godard, Comrie and Asham all not coming back (more than likely) and I'd trade Kovy even at his age and reduced production for all of them.