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Hull says trade 'win-win' for both Stars and Penguins

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By Josh Yohe
Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011

Brett Hull is never afraid to voice his opinion, and he shared some interesting thoughts about the Penguins' trade with Dallas on Tuesday on Triblive Radio with hosts Chris Mack and Rick Tocchet.

The NHL Hall-of-Famer was critical of new Penguins' defenseman Matt Niskanen's work habits.

"The thing that's missing in his game is a little bit of commitment," said Hull, who is Dallas' executive vice president and alternate governor. "He's really easy going, happy-go-lucky. In the summer back in Minnesota, I think he wakes up and fishes all day. If he spent a little of that time in the gym working on quickness and strength, (then) he's definitely an NHL-caliber guy."

Hull said that Niskanen is "a good kid" and a talented player.

"He should be a power-play guy," Hull said. "I just don't think he's quick enough and strong enough right now to do that."

Hull provided glowing praise of new Penguins' left wing James Neal, who he believes will someday be a terrific linemate for Sidney Crosby.

"Neal has an incredible amount of potential," Hull said. "He has to mature a lot. That will happen in that dressing room with the people they have in it."

Hull believes Neal is going to develop into a new-age, NHL power forward largely because of his exceptional skating ability.

"Neal has tremendous upside," Hull said. "He's big, strong and fast. He still needs to learn a lot. With Sid there, it will be quick-schooling for him."

Hull explained that Dallas pulled the trigger on the trade because of its need for a puck-moving defenseman, something Alex Goligoski can provide.

"It's a win-win for both teams," Hull said.

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Scouting report

Penguins vs. Sharks

7:30 p.m. today, Consol Energy Center

TV/radio: VERSUS/FSN Pittsburgh/WXDX-FM (105.9), Penguins Radio Network

Season series: First meeting.

Who to watch: Center Joe Thornton leads the Sharks in points (49, 14 goals, 35 assists), but he also has the team's third-worst plus-minus (minus 11). ... The Sharks (33-21-6) won three in a row before playing at Detroit on Tuesday night and are one point off the lead in the Pacific Division.

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