The suitors are starting to come out on the Matt Niskanen front. The Wild, Red Wings, Islanders, Maple Leafs, Flyers, Rangers and Panthers are among the 10-12 teams to have made inquiries on Niskanen through the first day of the free agency interview process, sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports.
Two teams very high on Niskanen’s list are the Minnesota Wild, he lives in Tower, Minnesota, and the Detroit Red Wings.
Niskanen’s agent Neil Sheehy will meet with both teams Thursday, among others.
Penguins sources say the Niskanen camp has set a starting point in talks at 7 years, $40 million, which could be stretching it for teams like the Wild and Red Wings.
However, at the end of the day the player calls the shots and the sense on Niskanen is he would be likely to leave money on the table for the right situation. Minnesota would probably be one of those situations.
Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports the Wild have “significant” interest in Niskanen. The Wild a team on the rise, look to be major players this week as Russo also reports they have reached out to Thomas Vanek, Paul Stastny and Willie Mitchell.
At this point, the Penguins who could offer up to 8 years to Niskanen before July 1, don’t value Niskanen anywhere near the $5+ million range he will be commanding.
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