Penguins deal Goligoski to Dallas for Neal and Niskanen

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The Penguins have acquired left winger James Neal and defenseman Matt Niskanen from Dallas for defenseman Alex Goligoski.

"This is the hockey trade that we've been looking for," Penguins general manager Ray Shero said tonight.

Neal, who is 6 feet 2, 208 pounds, has 21 goals and 18 assists in 59 games. He strong along the boards and in front of the net.

"He's a young, up-and-coming winger. His best days are ahead of him," Shero said of Neal.

Niskanen, who is 6 feet, 204 pounds, has six assists in 45 games. Modest statistics aside, he is considered by some to be a gifted offensive player, albeit one whose defensive play must be upgraded.

"He's a really good young defenseman. It's hard to get defensemen this time of year," Shero said.

While Neal will give the Penguins some badly needed scoring on the wing, the Penguins apparently plan to make a serious attempt to acquire right winger Alex Kovalev from Ottawa.

Kovalev, 37 and a former Penguin, has 14 goals and 13 assists in 53 games, and has been severely criticized for his inconsistent performance this season.


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