Originally written on PensInitiative  |  Last updated 9/19/13

DETROIT - JUNE 12: General manager Ray Shero of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 2-1 to win Game Seven and the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on June 12, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Ray Shero knew that he was getting a steal in the spring of 2011 when he managed to pry James Neal away from the Dallas Stars for just Alex Goligoski.  That much is underscored by Shero somehow bringing back a capable NHL defenseman in Matt Niskanen as well.  And while the logic from Dallas centered around the team desperately needing a puck moving defenseman, the Stars really didn't know what they had in James Neal when they traded him away.  Ray Shero probably didn't fully know what he was getting either, although he certainly saw the trademarks of an elite player.  James Neal went from the 25 goal, 50 point player Joe Nieuwendyk saw his first 3 years in Dallas  to the 40 goal, 80 point powerplay monster Ray Shero envisioned he could be in Pittsburgh. Craig Patrick knew that he was getting a dynamic future superstar at the NHL Entry Draft in 2004.  The Pittsburgh Penguins had finished with the worst record in the NHL in the 2003-04 season but "lost" the draft lottery an...
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