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Insider Only Sources: Niskanen deal not imminent; Sullivan remains on backburner but eyes return


Some info I’ve been able to gather this afternoon on a few things:
— I was told about an hour ago not to look for contract talks between the Penguins and Matt Niskanen to intensify until after the draft, a source directly involved in the negotiations told me. To recap, preliminary talks were established last week after the Penguins made a $1.75 million qualifying offer on Thursday to Niskanen and expressed early interest to Niskanen’s camp in negotiating a multi-year deal at somepoint….. but discussions remain in the very “early stages” and no deal is close or imminent. Word I got this afternoon is that both sides are waiting to see what the “Penguins” do at the draft in regards to their blueline, before moving forward in talks. The Penguins are active in trade talks and willing to move a blueliner or two.

The Penguins have yet to establish any preliminary talks with agent Steve Bartlett about a new deal for winger Steve Sullivan but Bartlett expects to meet with GM Ray Shero at the draft and all indications are Bartlett hopes to strike a deal with the Penguins as Sullivan has given him the green light on trying to reach a deal and return to Pittsburgh. The issue for Sullivan though is that Pittsburgh appears lukewarm at this point on committing to the soon to be 38 year old as the team wants to explore all other options first. Sullivan as of today remains on the backburner as the team is said to be active in trade talks.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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