James Neal couldn't do anything right last season after being traded to Pittsburgh from Dallas. Neal only posted 6 points in 20 games with the pens during the 10/11 campaign. Since then even with seven weeks remaining in the season, Neal has reached the 30-goal plateau.
Today he signs a six-year, $30 million contract extension that keeps him with Pittsburgh through the 2017-18 season. Neal could have been a restricted free agent July 1.
With 56 points this season in 58 games Neal has really found his game playing with Evgeni Malkin. The 6-foot-2, 208-pound left wing has been able to total 103 goals and 90 assists in 292 games with the Stars and Penguins. He's scored at least 20 goals in all four of his NHL seasons.
Looking back at the trade now where the penguins got James Neal and Matt Niskanen for Alex Goligoski it looks to be that they really got what they wanted here in Neal.