NHL Trade Rumors: Penguins' Alex Goligoski To Be Traded For Stars' James Neal?

In a potential move that might not please many folks in Dallas, Darren Dreger of TSN reports that the Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins have discussed a deal that involves defenseman Alex Goligoski and forward James Neal.

Rob Rossi, who covers the Penguins for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, confirmed the report from the Pens' perspective, saying that Goligoski is on the table in talks with Dallas.

Stars fans have grown fond of Neal in his short time in Dallas. He's become a 20-30 goal scorer just three years into his NHL career, and the perception is that he's not anywhere near his full potential just yet. Goligoski, meanwhile, is a nice young defenseman, but as SB Nation's Defending Big D writes, he's not necessarily the right fit.

The confusing thing about such a possibility is that the Stars need help on defense from players who help keep pucks out of the net, not ones more interested in putting them in the opponents (not that that hurts...). Taking a 20-30 goal guy in James Neal, who has not yet reached his full potential in this league for a defenseman with some offensive upside but issues in his own end doesn't sound like a home run hit to us.

The Penguins are in desperate need of some offense thanks to injuries to, well, seemingly everybody, and Neal would be a fantastic fit there. Goligoski has become expendable thanks to the organizational depth of Ray Shero's organization, and it's expected that he's the guy who will head out as the Pens look for that offensive help. 

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