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Niskanen hints at possibly taking hometown discount to stay with Penguins

Oct 19, 2013, 11:38 AM EDT

Matt Niskanen #2 of the Pittsburgh Penguins takes a shot against the Boston Bruins during Game One of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Consol Energy Center on June 1, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(May 31, 2013 - Source: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

It wasn’t long ago that Matt Niskanen looked like he might be the odd man out in Pittsburgh. Instead, he’s excelled with six points and a league-leading plus-10 rating in seven contests.

There’s still a lot of season left to go, but it’s starting to look like the Penguins might even want to keep him beyond this campaign. His two-year, $4.6 million contract is set to expire this summer, but the 26-year-old defenseman is very interested in staying in Pittsburgh, to the point where he might take less money to do so.

“It obviously depends on a lot of things,” Niskanen said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “But I will say that I put a big emphasis on winning. And this is a good place to be for that.”

Niskanen added, “I think there is a lot to be said for staying put in a place that you like and in a place that likes you.”

If he keeps playing anywhere near his current level, the Penguins will likely have at least some interest in retaining him. However, they would have to squeeze him into what’s likely to be a tight budget. The Penguins already have roughly $54.5 million in cap space committed to 13 players next season, according to Cap Geek.

In other words, how much Niskanen is willing to bend to stay in Pittsburgh is likely to dictate whether or not he stays.

  1. jpelle82 - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    hey i was calling for him to be traded but if he keeps playing like he has been then keep him, its a long season though and a long offseason after that

  2. sjsharks66 - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    He is playing better but needs to stop taking stupid penalties like he did against the Flyers.

  3. live4hockey - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    He only had the one penalty in that game…

  4. northstarnic - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Or you could take a hometown discount and come play in the building where you played some classic high school hockey state tourney games. Seems like a better plan to me.

  5. killerpgh - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    The Penguins have the depth on defense. Letang will come back and the Penguins are using Engelland as a forward. And that not counting Despres who is in the AHL currently. Plus the other NHL ready guys like Dumoulin/Harrington/Roupp who can be called up if an injury happen and fill in on the 3rd pairing. I say trade Niskanen. If you can get a 2nd round pick or a good forward prospect (since the Penguins really don’t have any prospects projected to be top 6 forward other than Bennett) Shero should make that trade. There were some rumors last week of the Ducks/Penguins talking trade for Niskanen for a young forward prospect (Emerson Etem?).

  6. mclovinhockey - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    I like the guy but I agree with killbrgh. Get as much for him as you can now, your future on D is bright.. On O most of the future was traded away. The pens should move him for a pick next year

  7. sjsharks66 - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Yeah and that 1 penalty was pointless and stupid.

  8. agc99 - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    It’s a contract year. He’s going to play out of his mind.

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