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Stars make Goligoski, their highest-paid defenseman, a healthy scratch

Feb 6, 2013, 2:57 PM EDT

Dallas Stars v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

Some eyebrow-raising news out of Dallas on Wednesday as the Stars announced defenseman Alex Goligoski would be a healthy scratch for this evening’s game against the Oilers.

Goligoski, 27, was the central figure in the trade that sent James Neal and Matt Niskanen to Pittsburgh in 2011.

Last year he led all Stars defensemen in scoring (9G-21A-30PTS) while averaging close to 23 minutes per game, and in January of 2012, inked a four-year contract extension worth $18.4 million — an annual cap hit of $4.6 million, making him Dallas’ highest-paid defenseman.

It’s unclear why Goligoski has been made a healthy scratch.

He leads all Dallas skaters this year in average time on ice (22:15) and, despite his sub par production, still leads all Stars blueliners in points (three).

He has a plus-2 rating and, just three games ago, played a season-high 25:24 in a 4-3 shootout win over Phoenix.

Here’s Goligoski speaking to reporters following Monday’s 3-2 win over Colorado:

Seemed like everything was fine there.

As for replacements, sounds as though Philip Larsen and Aaron Rome will draw in on defense tonight for Dallas.

Update: Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News spoke with Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan about the decision to make Goligoski a healthy scratch.

“Alex needs to get back to Alex’s level. It’s pretty cut and dried,’’ Gulutzan said.

  1. letsgopens8771 - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    I laugh anytime I see Gogo in the headlines, because all I think about is the Neal and Niskanen trade that ended up being REALLY lopsided for big D. That trade will arguably go down as the worst in Stars history, giving up a top 4 defenseman in Matty Ice and a 40 goal scorer with James “The Real Deal” Neal. Gogo was average at best in Pittsburgh. In the Star’s defense though, I thought he was going to be a solid top 4 defenseman, too.

    • trom09 - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      Can we please stop this argument. Niskanen was AWFUL in Dallas.
      And I could be a 40 goal scorer playing on a line with one of the best in the league (Malkin).

      • timsabourin - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        no you couldn’t

      • friedberg7 - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:53 PM

        I agree with you about Niskanen. I thought he stunk his first year in Pittsburgh and was sure Dallas was just making cap space. So glad he is playing better. And Neal would have stayed if there wasn’t financial issues in Dallas. Would be hard to keep Benn and Neal.

  2. jaredphi - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Maybe he’s a healthy scratch b/c perhaps a trade is imminent? D-men are in demand for several clubs right now….

  3. steelpenbucs87 - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    It’s the curse of Taylor Swift (Pens 09)

    • friedberg7 - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      What you talking about? TK is awesome. Hahaha

      • steelpenbucs87 - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:09 AM

        It’s something the Freakshow Boys/Pensblog uncovered a couple of years ago – has a very Back to The Future feel to it.

        And TK is NOT awesome haha.

  4. quizguy66 - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    The trade scenario would be the most logical, even though the contract extension situation would seem to go against that.


  5. einjzmolf - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    this doesn’t raise my eyebrow? not one bit. our ahl call ups have had much more of an impact already, this guy’s shot is looking like steve ott’s last year – it’s pathetic. couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. good move.

  6. Stiller43 - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    I must admit i do miss gogo, but getting neal and niskanen was an outright robbery for the pens.

    ‘ppreciate it!

  7. friedberg7 - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    First Whitney is a healthy scratch for Edmonton and now Gogo for Dallas. In Shero we trust!

    • chelseax11 - Feb 6, 2013 at 10:08 PM

      Don’t forget Esposito and Armstrong for Dupuis and Hossa. Armstrong got bought out last year, Dupuis scored 60 points. For what Shero lacks in the draft, he makes up for on the trade table. Guy is a legend. 3 of the most lopsided NHL trades in recent memory.

  8. joeallen678 - Feb 6, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    yeah if you watch goose play he is pathetic for a 4 million dollar defense man, there are so many goals that are his fault and he takes too many stupid shots. I hope he actually gets his act together

  9. charleslouis99 - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    I wouldn’t say shero is really special for targeting cap floor teams in trades. If I was a gm and had all the money he has to work with, it’d be pretty easy to find some players that are really “cap casualties” as some say.

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