Skip to content

Niskanen definitely going to market, agent confirms

Jun 26, 2014, 12:58 PM 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

No surprise here, but it’s now official: Matt Niskanen is headed to free agency.

That’s what his agent, Neil Sheehy, confirmed on Thursday, explaining that the Pens’ blueliner spoke with the team and informed Pittsburgh that he’ll be testing the UFA market on July 1.

Niskanen figures to be a highly sought-after commodity. Coming off a year in which he scored a career-high 10 goals and 46 points, Niskanen — who finished 11th in Norris voting — is reported to be high on the wish lists of the Islanders (see here), Red Wings (see here) and Wild (see here), to name a few.

Just 27 and a right-hand shot, Niskanen should get a significant pay bump from the $2.3 million he earned annually on his last deal. That was a very cost-effective deal for Pittsburgh, especially given the production he provided in ’13-14; as such, new Pens GM Jim Rutherford admitted it would be difficult to keep Niskanen in the fold.

Niskanen has been with the Penguins since the 2010-11 campaign, when he was acquired as part of the James Neal-Alex Goligoski swap. No Pittsburgh blueliner has played more games over the last three years (196) and only one — Kris Letang — has scored more points than Niskanen’s 81.

Latest Posts
  1. Trotz will still cheer for Preds ‘like crazy’

    Aug 31, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

    Barry Trotz AP

    He continued to follow their summer moves after he was fired.

  2. Lombardi brings Stanley Cup to Snoopy

    Aug 31, 2014, 9:44 PM EDT

    Dean Lombardi AP

    The late creator of Peanuts was a big hockey fan.

  3. Columnist: Schultz deal might complicate Avs’ talks with RFA Barrie

    Aug 31, 2014, 8:26 PM EDT

    Tyson Barrie Getty Images

    The Colorado defenseman is still a restricted free agent.

  4. Scioscia wants MLB to adopt NHL-inspired roster expansion rules

    Aug 31, 2014, 7:03 PM EDT

    Mike Scioscia AP

    “I think that would make it a little more equitable for match-ups.”

  5. Hextall: Advanced statistics small, but meaningful part of Kings’ success

    Aug 31, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    Ron Hextall Getty Images

    He served as an assistant general manager in Los Angeles before coming to Philadelphia.

  6. Gagner looking for fresh start in Arizona

    Aug 31, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT

    Sam Gagner AP

    After matching a career-low in goals during the 2013-14 season, he’s hoping for big things with the Coyotes.

  7. Report: Devils sign Kelly

    Aug 31, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Image (1) NewJerseyDevils_logo-thumb-250x243-22093.gif for post 6122

    Add depth to blue line in Albany.

  8. Hayes sees opportunity with Rangers

    Aug 31, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

    Kevin Hayes Getty Images

    Hopes to play in the NHL in 2014-15.

  9. Bieksa confident changes have Canucks headed in right direction

    Aug 31, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

    Kevin Bieksa Getty Images

    After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08, he believes they’ll be back in the postseason in 2014-15.

  10. Leafs’ Kadri aims for more goals in contract year

    Aug 31, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators Getty Images

    He’s emphasized a quick shot release the most.

  11. Sharks explain moving Burns back to the blueline

    Aug 31, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game Seven Getty Images

    GM Doug Wilson points out that he was acquired to be a “stud defenseman.”

  12. Looking to make the leap: Reid Boucher

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:10 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Stefan Matteau is in the conversation, too.

  13. Oilers’ Schultz admits it’s too early for Norris talk

    Aug 30, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    His new deal earned more than a few critics.

  14. Boudreau doesn’t know how Ducks goalie situation will ‘shake out’

    Aug 30, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Bruce Boudreau AP

    Frederik Andersen and John Gibson both have a shot at being No. 1.

  15. What if the Blue Jackets and Johansen don’t reach a deal?

    Aug 30, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT

    Ryan Johansen Getty Images

    The two sides are not budging in contract negotiations.

  16. Under Pressure: Cory Schneider

    Aug 30, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT

    Cory Schneider AP

    Will try to guide the Devils back to the postseason after two straight seasons without playoff hockey in New Jersey.

  17. Binghamton Senators unveil new jerseys

    Aug 30, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Will wear a different look in 2014-15.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (1813)
  2. M. Fleury (1735)
  3. D. Alfredsson (1720)
  4. C. Anderson (1636)
  5. J. Schultz (1299)
  1. J. Boychuk (1244)
  2. D. Setoguchi (1240)
  3. D. Krejci (1216)
  4. E. Staal (1173)
  5. J. Harding (1164)