Alex Goligoski to debut for Dallas Stars

Updated: February 22, 2011, 8:14 PM ET
By Mark Stepneski | ESPNDallas.com

FRISCO, Texas -- Forward Jamie Benn, who has missed the last 10 games for the Dallas Stars with a shoulder is injury, will return for Tuesday's game against the New Jersey Devils.

"Jamie Benn looks like he is ready to go," Stars coach Marc Crawford said. "That's some good news on our front."

Defenseman Alex Goligoski, acquired Monday from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for James Neal and Matt Niskanen, was not at Tuesday morning's skate because of travel issues. The Stars are planning for Goligoski to play Tuesday night.

"Any time you add a piece like an Alex Goligoski, a guy that is a top four defenseman, it puts everybody else in the right spots," Crawford said. "It now gives us a bona fide group that we can think can handle top players in the National Hockey League. Some of the players that we have been pushing up and asking to play maybe bigger minutes, now they get put down into a position where I think they are better suited at playing.

"Alex Goligoski will be a big minute man for us. He'll be a guy that can play in a top four setting. I think he'll be a nice complement to [Trevor] Daley, [Stephane] Robidas and when we get [Nicklas] Grossman back as well. And for our other players in our lineup -- whether it's [Mark] Fistric, [Jeff] Woywitka or [Karlis] Skrastins -- they maybe won't have quite as much burden as they've had in the past number of games."

Stars captain Brenden Morrow talked about the deal from the players' perspective.

"It's a little bittersweet. We're going to miss those guys," Morrow said. "... We're sad to see them go, but we're excited. Goligoski is a great player. He has good hockey sense. He's going to do well on the power play and help us out in that area. He logs a lot of minutes on the backend. We gave up a lot, but we got a pretty good, special player in return."

Also, Adam Burish (orbital bone) and Krys Barch (orbital bone) took part in the Stars' morning skate, but aren't ready to play. Crawford also said Grossman is a few days away.

Mark Stepneski covers the Stars for ESPNDallas.com.

Mark Stepneski

ESPNDallas.com
Mark Stepneski joined ESPNDallas.com in July 2010. A former news/special projects producer for KXAS-TV, he has run the Andrew's Dallas Stars Page website since 1997.

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