Pens land missing piece; more rumors 

February, 22, 2011

Before I get to my regularly scheduled Tuesday NHL picks, I thought I'd weigh in on yesterday's Dallas Stars-Pittsburgh Penguins deal and pass along a few things that I've heard in the past 24 hours.

Monday's trade: Dallas sends W James Neal and D Matt Niskanen to Pittsburgh for D Alex Goligoski.

My take: Like most, I think the Penguins made out nicely in this deal. In Neal, they get a speedy, young, top-six winger who can score goals. Penguins GM Ray Shero has been seeking just such a player to place alongside either of his superstar centers, Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. Neal, 23, should be a great fit.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.