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Anonymous asked in SportsHockey · 9 years ago

The James Neal Deal...?

I didnt bother looking for an existing Q/A on the topic because I have a series of questions. If you dont want to read my coherent but lengthy rambling below feel free to skip to the questions.

The Pens are a great team, whether I dislike them or not, but with Crosby out indefinitely with PCS and Malkin gone until next season, they have been very limited up front...although Dan Bylsma, like Barry Trotz, has found a way to utilize the guys he does have to maximize production. Since Jordan Staal returned some months ago he has made a big impact, and some of the supporting role players have stepped up too. However, a few months ago we discussed the lack of any real 1st line wingers to play along side Crosby and Malkin when Staal was still on IR. Chris Kunitz, Arron Asham, Matt Cooke, and Pascal Dupuis were the 1st and 2nd line wingers at the time, and they were not very impressive. Between the four of them, I believe they had a combined three 20 goal seasons in their entire careers. Before they acquired James Neal, the top lines were Adams-Staal-Dupuis and Conner-Talbot-Kennedy...which with the key injuries are even worse than the top 2 lines from earlier in the season. James Neal, I believe, is a necessary acquisition if the Pens expect to compete without their big guns. The depth chart up front at present looks pretty abysmal for Bylsma (see what I did there?)...other than Crosby and Malkin, Chris Kunitz and possibly Tyler Kennedy are really the only guys that might notch 20+ goals this season.

Even if Crosby returns in time for the postseason, the loss of Malkin needed to be absorbed as well, and Ray Shero did well to trade for James Neal, even if he has been slumping as of late. I know they acquired Matt Niskanen as well but Ive never been impressed by him. Really, the trade was Neal for Goligoski, which is a pretty even trade even without Niskanen as part of the deal. Both teams added a key addition, and its hard to say who came out on top...until this trade I was also not very impressed by the Stars' blueliners...but Ive always been big on Alex Goligoski and I think he'll be a potential Norris candidate in the next 3-5 years.

Now that I babbled on long enough, here are the questions:

1. Who do you think got the better deal?

2. If Crosby doesnt return before the ECQFs, does Pittsburgh still have a shot at the Cup, assuming he returns in the ECSFs or ECFs?

3. Will Goligoski thrive in Dallas? Will Neal thrive in Pittsburgh? Who do you expect Goligoski to be paired with in the long run, and what line combinations do you think the Pens will go with after adding Neal?

4. Ive been looking over a number of websites' NHL injury reports and it seems a lot is left Mark Letestu returning soon? Assuming Paul Martin and Chris Kunitz return soon who, other than Brooks Orpik, is still out for the Pens? It seems Arron Asham, Eric Godard, and Mike Comrie just kind of disappeared. Are they on long-term IR? Assigned to the AHL? I didnt think Asham or Comrie had two-way contracts.

5. What do the Stars have to do tonight to beat the Wings without Brad Richards or James Neal up front?

BQ - where can I find the most extensive, thorough, and frequently updated NHL injury reports? CBSsports and Yahoo! sports reports suck...ESPN seems to be the most reliable, up-to-date, and always gives a pretty good updates, descriptions of issues and expected return dates...however even ESPN will omit a team or two completely, seemingly at random. Where do you go to find your IR updates?

I havent been on in a month or two and I have a lot of questions that need to be answered. My bad.


I wasnt aware "Gogo" is prone to boneheaded give aways, overcommitting, and untimely pinching. These are all issues the Wings need to address; way to many giveways in the neutral zone, missing the puck when pinching, getting caught flat-footed, lazy passing, etc. Too many breakaways/odd-man rushes awarded to our opponents. Goligoski still has tremendous upside too though, in my opinion. Hopefully, for the Stars' sake, he can lock it down.

BQ - doesnt have an injury report...or at least its not an option anywhere on the main menu. They report individual injuries as stories but I dont see any organized "list"...kinda what Im looking for. I suppose Ill check TSN too.

4 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    1. Just on face value, I would say that the Pens got the longer end of the stick with this one. Pittsburgh really REALLY needed help at wing (even before the losses of Crosby and Malkin), and this is just what the doctor ordered, considering their depth at D. They were going to have to let Gogo go at some point anyway, since Letang is obviously going to be their next Gonchar, and Martin and Michalek are tying up a big chunk of cap space for a while.

    Goligoski was having a decent season, and he's got a lot of potential talent for sure, but he has shown a pretty serious down side in the past. He can shoot with any defenseman in the league, but he has also displayed a tendancy to make terrible cross-ice passes and pinch at exactly the wrong moment. Having said that, he's made noticeable improvement defensively this year. Still, Pittsburgh got everything they needed in this deal--it's almost as if they didn't give anything up at all since, like I said, Gogo was the odd man out anyhow. Best of luck to him in Dallas. Of course, only time will tell who the real winner of this deal will be... Also, I find it a curious side note that Niskanen is now a Pen, having fought Crosby earlier this season...

    2. Probably not. If--and this is a big if--the Pens can squeak by the first round without Crosby and Malkin, they'll have used a lot of mental fuel, and most likely will not be able to sustain the level of play necessary to advance further. Even if everyone else that's injured comes back before the playoffs begin, Pittsburgh faces an enormous uphill struggle. So far, Kris Letang and Paul Martin haven't really shown they can contribute more offensively with the two-headed monster out, which is not a good sign gearing up for the playoffs.

    3. I'm not familiar enough with Dallas' defense to know where Gogo will fit there, but I imagine he'll see most of his time on the second pair, with a good chunk of power play time as well. A Neal-Staal-Dupuis line for the Pens sounds pretty good to me.

    4. Off the top of my head, Asham is out with a concussion, Comrie is out with a hip injury (and a lack of will to play--he fizzled out during the first week of the season); I'm pretty sure they're both on IR (although I think Asham is skating in practice now). Then there's Tangradi, who's got a concussion from that "game" vs. the Isles, and Dustin Jeffrey, who's got I think a lower body injury, Nick Johnson is out with a concussion, and Mark Letestu, who I have also heard is coming back soon. All told, I think there's a dozen guys out right now. The listing on the Pens' page at Yahoo! is generally complete, but not always up to date.

    5. I would imagine a combination of trapping, gooning and praying. I could have used Richards on my fantasy team earlier this year.

    BQ- I rely too heavily on Yahoo! and am always pissed off about it. has got to be better, but I honestly don't know for sure. Or probably CBC.

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  • 9 years ago

    1. I think the Penguins did. In my opinion, Pittsburgh (And i'm with you, whether I like them or not, which i don't like them lol) are a great team. Fleury has been playing amazing, keeping the Pens in the games despite all of their Injuries. Letang is becoming a superstar with the way he plays Defense....I think it's possible he could make a Norris run in a couple years. Matt Cooke, well I hate him lol, but if he could play his game more like Anaheim's Corey Perry, meaning start scoring more goals, less cheap shots, drop the gloves and fight instead and not take stupid penalties, he would be a keeper. Remember, Perry used to take a lot of stupid penalties, but he learned how to balance it all out this season and it changed his game for the better...and he still fights, kind of like a Darren McCarty. Pens have more of a supporting cast even with Malkin and Crosby out, and that's why they got the better deal.

    2. Not sure, depends on Kovalev and Neal I guess. My guess is they wont win the Stanley Cup this year, but Fleury will play his heart out and get them far.

    3. I think both will do good on their teams. Maybe Goligoski will play with Robidas...unless Robidas already has a great blue-liner playing with him. With the Pens adding Neal AND Kovalev, maybe they will play together with Talbot. 2nd line maybe?

    4. I have no idea. I've been wondering what happend to Comrie too, where did he go? lol

    5. A very physical game I'm assuming. Steve Ott always loves getting physical against the Wings, so it wouldn't surprise me if he went after somebody, or gets under their skin. Besides that, their Goalie will play strong.

    BQ* I go the for anything and everything. I don't know if it is the best though lol.

    Don't worry about it. Glad to have you back :o)

    Edit: Totally agree with the Wings sloppy passes. They pass way to much when they are on the power play, and then the puck gets turned over to the other team. They need to stop passing so damn much and just shoot!

    Source(s): Red Wings Fan :o)
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  • 9 years ago

    1. no i do not think the pens could of gotten a better deal , for what they gave up in alex goligoski they got back double in james neal and matt niskanen , goligoski is good but doesnt have the upside or potential of neal or for that matter niskanen both are still under 25 and blossom into stars. while goligoski would not have the opportunity to grow because of kris letang and martin

    2.If crosby doesn't return before the ECQFs , i believe the pens could win a series in 7 games thanks to the cushion they built early in the season , this is saying if shero doesn't make anymore moves before the deadline , the pens could upgrade seriously before the playoff

    3. Like people before me have said this was a good trade for both teams , Goligoski have the opportunity to thrive in dallas while he is partnered by Robidas because he is now there best offensive D man , but i think James Neal playing by crosby and possibly malkin and Matt niskanen with a change in scenery and playing in a high tempo system of Dan Bylsma are in a better situation to thrive and are going to . the pens are going to let Neal play by the best center that give him the opportunity to play his game , for example

    Jordan staal right now becasue the pens have little option besides that, and he has shown some offensive upside , but Neal with probably play by Mark Letestu or Mike comrie until crosby comes because both are watered down versions of a crosby type center.

    4. Like you said Letestu is returning this weekend and so is dustin jeffery so you will see the combination i said in number 3. but the player that are still injured are Asham( concussion) , Comrie( surgery on shoulder ) who is likely to return soon , Godard( suspension for hopping bench in the bloody islander game ) and kunitz is set to return next week . The only player on long term injury reserve is Evgeni Malkin with his MCl/ACl tear, once you put some one on long term injury reserve you cant access them again this season and there contract doesn't count against the cap .

    5. for the stars to win tonight they have to grind it out AND NEED TO GET PRODUCTION FOR THERE D MAN especially newly aquired goligoski , this game isnt going to be a pretty one but a good good "hockey style" game , the pens have been doing this style for a while and have won a few games in the process

    BQ- try the they have all the updates before anyone

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  • 4 years ago

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