Alex Goligoski may never shake the dark cloud that seems to follow him around everywhere he goes. But that’s not necessarily the fault of the Dallas Stars defenseman. The trade that sent Goligoski to Dallas in exchange for James Neal and Matt Niskanen is looked at one of the major failures of the Joe Nieuwendyk era.
But that doesn’t mean that Goligoski hasn’t been a productive player in his time with the Stars. In fact, the results have been pretty positive. However, when you look at the success that Neal has had with the Pittsburgh Penguins, it’s hard to look back and call this an even trade.
Nonetheless, Goligoski is a key piece of the Stars roster, both now and in the future. On a blue line that is largely thin on talent, Goligoski is a top four defenseman capable of putting up some points. He posted 27 points from the blue line this year, with 11 of them coming on the power plya.
He’s a puck mover from the blue line and is primarily looked at as an offensive defenseman. He’ll throw in a bit of the physical game from time to time and will block a decent amount of shots. Even better, he’s also signed for the next three seasons at a somewhat reasonable cap hit of $4.6 million.
The reason it’s reasonable is the fact that offensive defenseman are a premium quantity in this league. Teams want them. Which is why Goligoski has been labeled as a potential trade candidate for the Stars. A team that needs to build up their roster as a whole is considering shopping a couple of bigger names under the new regime, with Goligoski among them.
The question is whether or not moving or keeping Goligoski would be the right move for Jim Nill and the Dallas Stars. On one hand, you have an offensive defenseman who is signed for three more years and can bring back a decent return, especially in a thin free agent market.
But at the same time, this team needs more defensemen, not less. He’s a guy capable of logging big minutes, while also providing a veteran presence. Given his offensive capabilities from the blue line, something that isn’t really present on this roster or their system, holding onto him makes more sense for the Stars than moving him.