Part One of our take on the Goligoski/Neal-Niskanen trade.
In the inability to have a nickname that stuck comes the legacy of Alex Goligoski: inconsistency.
Goligoski came to the Penguins as a draft pick in the second round of the 2004 draft.
Goligoski went to Wilkes-Barre after three seasons playing college hockey at Minnesota.
First game was against the Boston Bruins on February 13, 2008.
First point on March 1, 2008 against the Senators.
The following season, Goligoski started the 2008-2009 year with the Pens.
From our 2008-09 Season Preview:
Whitney's out until at least December.
Gonch could be back in time for the playoffs.
That'll open ice time for Gogo to step and prove he can contribute at the NHL level.
Because of that Gonchar injury, Goligoski stayed with the Pens until Gonch came back. He racked up 6 goals and 14 assists in 45 games. His flashes of offensive spark paved the way for the Ryan Whitney trade. GoGo was called upon a couple more times that year, with the two biggest games coming in Games 5 and 6 of the Caps series after Gonchar got kneed by Ovechkin and Bylsma decided to roll with 7 D.
The following summer, Shero inked him to a 3-year, $5-mill deal.
From our Season Preview in 2009-2010:
Pretty sick that Go-Go is the third best offensive d-man on the Pens.
Whether that's good or bad is in the eye of the behomo.
Will challenge Kris Letang's goals and points.
He wasn't terrible in 2009-2010. He just wasn't consistent.
When the playoffs rolled around, Goalagainstski reared his ugly head. If we had to to pinpoint one moment that turned us on Goligoski, it was this goal he got smoked on in a huge Game Six in Montreal.
We never viewed Goose in the same light after that.
Probably unfair, but that ended up being the game-winning goal. Man.
This year was much of the same. He has had a decent season. No question. His stat lines are top-four D. But how many times did we watch him get worked over in the corners? Whenever a team would dump the puck to his side, it was a mess. And let's face it: he did not deliver on the powerplay. At all.
To sum up his career as a Penguin, he is just not as good as Kris Letang. He has the wheels, and he has the shot, too. But he doesn't play with a mean streak and is far less physical than Letang. And with the Pens' massive organizational depth, he was the expendable one.
So farewell, Goose.
And good luck.