The Pittsburgh Penguins and defenseman Matt Niskanen have agreed to a two year deal worth $4.6 million. The deal carries a cap hit of $2.3 million and Niskanen will receive salaries of $2.1 million in 2012-2013 and $2.5 million in 2013-2014. Last season he made $1.75 million.
Niskanen, 25, completed his first full season with Pittsburgh in 2011-12, tallying 21 points (4G-17A) and a plus-9 rating in 75 regular-season games. He topped the 20-point mark for the first time since 2008-09 with Dallas, while his plus-9 rating was the second-highest total of his career (plus-22 in â07-08). Niskanen added three points (1G-2A) in four playoff games.
With the signing of Niskanen, the Penguins have around $57.93 million committed to salaries for next season.
If the Penguins stand pat or decide to move Paul Martin after acquiring a No. 1 pairing defenseman to play with Kris Letang, the team is comfortable with Niskanen moving into a top-2 pairing role this season, team sources told Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com coming out of the Penguins scouting meetings earlier this month.
UPDATED DEPTH CHART (1-WAY CONTRACTS, $57,933,333)
C Sidney Crosby – $8.7 million cap hit
C Evgeni Malkin – $8.7 million cap hit
RW James Neal – $5 million cap Hit
LW Chris Kunitz – $3.75 million cap hit
C Brandon Sutter – $2,066,667 million cap hit
RW Tyler Kennedy – $2 million cap hit
LW Matt Cooke – $1.8 million cap hit
RW Pascal Dupuis – $1.5 million cap hit
C/RW Craig Adams – $675,000 cap hit
C/LW Dustin Jeffrey – $575,000 cap hit
C Joe Vitale – $550,000 cap hit
Paul Martin – $5 million cap hit
Brooks Orpik – $3.75 million cap hit
Kris Letang – $3.5 million cap hit
Matt Niskanen – $2.3 million cap hit
Deryk Engelland – $566,667 cap hit
Ben Lovejoy – $525,000 cap hit
Marc Andre Fleury – $5 million cap hit
Tomas Vokoun – $2 million cap hit