Niskanen, Pens to pick up talks
The Pittsburgh Penguins qualified defenseman Matt Niskanen on June 14, retaining his RFA rights, and expressed early interest to Niskanen’s camp in discussing a multi-year deal at somepoint this off-season. The two sides will now soon start working towards a deal in the coming weeks as sources say Niskanen’s agent Neil Sheehy intends to re-engage in preliminary talks with Pens assistant GM Jason Botterill in the next day or two.
After initial talks were established by the Penguins almost two weeks ago, Niskanen’s camp informed the Penguins of their intentions to hold off on talks until after the draft and the Penguins have been waiting for Niskanen’s camp to propose what their looking for since.
Niskanen who made $1.75 million in 2011-2012 is not scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent until July 1, 2014 and is seeking at least a two year deal to cover his final restricted free agent seasons.
“We will work something out, ” a source close to the situation told me, expressing confidence in a multi-year deal getting done at somepoint in the coming weeks.
The Penguins determined out of their scouting meetings earlier this month that Niskanen would be apart of their top-6 on the blueline moving forward and there’s some members of the coaching staff who feel confident enough of Niskanen moving into a top-2 pairing spot to replace Zbynek Michalek who was traded to Phoenix.
“Matt had a good year for us last year, ” GM Ray Shero said last week of Niskanen.
Niskanen’s agent by the way also represents Ryan Suter and I will haveÂ a feature up onÂ Suter in the next hour or so.