NHL Trade Deadline: Dallas Trades James Neal & Matt Niskanen For Alex Goligoski

Russ GodekContributor IIIFebruary 21, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 05:  James Neal #18 of the Dallas Stars skates against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 5, 2011 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers defeated the Stars 3-1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

It's official ladies and gentleman, the Dallas Stars have traded LW James Neal and D Matt Niskanen to Pittsburgh for D Alex Goligoski.

The trade comes after a day of rampant speculation, something unusual for any deal which Penguins GM Ray Shero makes.

Pittsburgh makes out big time on this deal, as it was earlier thought that the Penguins would have to give up more than just Goligoski to acquire James Neal.

In Neal, the Penguins get a strong power forward who knows how to find the back of the net, piling up 21 goals and 18 assists in 59 games this season. He will be a much welcome addition to an offense that has struggled to find its scoring touch after numerous injuries.

Neal will be undoubtedly plugged in alongside Sidney Crosby when he returns and should be put into a position to put up some tremendous numbers.

Also in the trade, the Penguins replace the hole left by Goligoski by getting Niskanen in return. Niskanen is a right handed shot, and while he won't impress offensively, plays a sound defensive game and has six assists on the season and is a -1.

Dallas gets Goligoski, a young defenseman who has nine goals and 31 points in 60 games with the Penguins this season, and led all Pittsburgh players with a plus-20 rating.

Both Goligoski and Neal are signed through next season, at which point they will become restricted free agents.

Ray Shero has done it again and Penguins fans should be overwhelmed with the return they got for Goligoski.

Shero's next move should be to bring in the Russian sniper and former Pittsburgh Penguin Alex Kovalev from the Ottawa Senators, as it's been heavily rumored the Penguins are strongly interested.