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Alex Goligoski speaks on his way out of Pittsburgh.

Former Penguins D Alex Goligoski spoke to me Tuesday on his way the Pittsburgh airport. He had time to pack only two bags of clothes, and the most pressing thing on his mind was a snowstorm. “Not sure if I’m going to make my flight,” he said, sounding almost relieved to have his trade to Dallas completed. Our conversation:

RR: When did you first get wind of this trade being a possibility?

AG: Just this afternoon. I wasn’t really sure what was going on. I knew if the Pens were going to make a trade I was likely one of the guys. It’s just kind of with the way the team was set up in terms of strengths and needs.

RR: I texted you around 1 p.m. to let you know something was up. What were the hours like for you between then and the trade being completed?

AG: There was nothing to do, really. You just kind of sit around and wait.

RR: Your former GM, Ray Shero, said teams have been asking about you for months. There was speculation you were the Penguins’ most coveted available asset. How did that sit with you these past weeks?

AG: I wasn’t too uptight about it or thinking about it too much. It wasn’t that big of a burden on me. Now that (a trade) has happened it’s just kind of crazy. It’s going to be a good situation for me in Dallas, I hope.

RR: You knew the situation with the Penguins – four defensemen on long-term deals, you at shorter term. Did you enter this season expecting to finish it as a Penguin?

AG: I never looked at it like that. I know that I was a main trading chip, I guess you could say. It was just a matter of them getting an offer they liked. I liked it in Pittsburgh and (the fans) liked me here. I heard a few things. It was really… I guess they found the deal they wanted.

RR: Your role with the Stars, a surprise playoff contender, figures to be different than it was with the Penguins. You’re a veteran with a Cup going to a team that has very few of those players. Do you anticipate more responsibility with the Stars?

AG: I assume so. We’ll find out. I’m going to have to learn the system quick. I know how I can fit right in is by playing a big role in getting Dallas to the playoffs.

RR: How will you look back on your brief, but not unmemorable, Penguins career?

AG: It was great. Everything was great. The Cup, obviously, was the best. I played on some great teams here. The organization was great, right down the list. They were very good to me.

RR: So, this is what being a Packers fans gets a guy—shipped out of town to Dallas, where the Packers beat the Steelers in the Super Bowl?

AG: (Laughing) I knew it was going to come back to haunt me.

–Rossi

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

Comments

  1. Kevin Strafalace says:

    I have to say I will miss GoGo. I know he has some holes in his game but he is still very young. I dont think it is too bold to say he will be playing at or near Letang’s level in a few years. I thank him for his service and wish him well in his career. That said, you have to give something to get something. Goal scoring wingers dont come for nothing. The addition of Neal is HUGE. Hes not a rental at the end of his career. He is 24 years old with years of great hockey ahead of him and still has a couple of affordable years left on his deal. In each of his 1st 2 years in the league he had over 20 goals and is well on his way towards 30 this season playing for a much less potent Dallas Offense. Plug him in for a full season with Crosby and he has the makings of a 35 or maybe more scorer. This IS the move we have been screaming for. This gets me very excited for this team. You have a rebuilt defense signed long term that has turned into one of the best in the league. You have a core of world class players and several youngsters that have proven to have goal scoring abilities in Letestu, Jeffrey, etc. Now you add Neal. I dont know about this season with all the injuries, but next season and beyond looks great. GO PENS!!!

  2. Jay Baileys says:

    Good luck to Gogo, always liked him, and think he will be a great player for a long time. If this Neal kid is as good as I am reading he is, and we can sign him, this will be another gem by Shero. I completely trust this guy’s instincts, he knows what he is doing. Rob, other than Kovy possibly for a late-round pick do you think he has anyting else up his sleeve?

  3. Maureen says:

    I always pictured Letang and Goligoski “growing old together” as players on this team so I am heartbroken right now. Alex’s comments didn’t surprise me. He always struck me as being a completely level-headed guy. I also received some solace from Ray Shero reporting how difficult it was to give him up and Bylsma’s reaction. I really wish the Pens didn’t have to give up the players that were drafted and developed within the organization because I have been impressed with the prospects that we have had in the system for the past 5 years. Even if Neal contributes for years to come, I will always miss Alex’ strong defensive play and offensive gift. Good luck, Gogo! I really wish the best for you. I haven’t cried like this since Colby and Eric were traded to Atlanta for that piece of garbage known as Marian Hossa.

  4. Shawn says:

    Best of luck to Alex.

    Thanks for playing well enough for us to get James Neal for you.

    As far as other moves by Shero…other than Kovy…

    I could see us picking up another depth D-man if Niskanen looks iffy in the next few games. If not, I bet we’ll stand pat there.

    If we pick up a center, then we’ll have a good idea that Sid is done for the year.

  5. Aron says:

    Good luck to GoGo, hope he continues his success with Dallas.

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