Mar 9, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski (33) during the first period against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Making the Grade: Alex Goligoski

With the regular season over, it’s time for players around the league to be evaluated for their effectiveness and their value to a team. We’ll be doing the same thing throughout the month of May, and we’d love to hear your opinions on our grading.

We’ll travel through the team in numerical order this year and we’ll hit every individual that was on the roster as of Saturday April 27; the official end of the Stars season.

Alex Goligoski

It was the most controversial trade of the 2011-2012 season; Alex Goligoski headed to Dallas while Matt Niskanen and James Neal made their way to Pittsburgh. He signed a five-year contract with the Stars, good through the 2015-2016 season. In his final season as a Penguin, Goligoski scored nine goals, recorded 22 assists and closed out the season with at positive 20 in the plus/minus. Since 2008, Goligoski finished each full year with at least 30 points.

Since moving to Dallas, the 33-year-old Minnesota native’s performance hasn’t yielded such impressive results as his time in Pittsburgh, including the 2008-2009 season when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup; but Goligoski’s talent and ability certainly hasn’t gone to waste. Last season, he scored nine goals, tying his NHL-high from the year prior while playing with Pittsburgh.

This year, he would’ve given his career-high in assists a run for its money, and led the team in assists, recording 24 through just the first half of the post-lockout season. And on January 26, Goligoski recorded his 100th career assist against the St. Louis Blues. He also led the team in the plus/minus, finishing the season at positive four. While his string of assists began just four games into the season, he didn’t score his first goal until the end of March against the Minnesota Wild.

As a member of the defensive squad, Goligoski’s overall performance this season doesn’t escape criticism, and it seemed when a puck slid beyond the blue line and into neutral ice, Goligoski was more often than not the individual watching it glide by. His 5’11” 181-pound stature also didn’t provide much of a screen for goalie Kari Lehtonen.

In reviewing Goligoski’s season all-around, and remembering how often he watched as the puck nonchalantly passed the blue line, it’s hard to say it was a stellar year. But the numbers don’t lie, and Goligoski’s ability to put the puck where it needs to be for top goal-scorers highlights the importance of his position on the team. Taking all facets of the season into account, I give Alex Goligoski a B+ for the 2012-2013 season.

Goal Scoring: C

Assists: A

Plus/Minus: A

On-ice presence and performance: B

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