Niskanen likely to nab $5.5 – $6 million per on open market?
Just over a month away from potentially hitting the open market, Matt Niskanen will be one of the most sought after defensemen this summer via free agency and trade. That’s assuming he doesn’t give the Penguins a hometown discount.
With advanced stats to backup their beliefs, Matt Niskanen’s camp intend to make the argument to interested teams that Niskanen is worth a contract of 6 years in the range of at least $33 million, an NHL source tells Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com
There’s even crazy talk that some teams value Niskanen as a $6 million a year defenseman.
Any team who pays Niskanen that much is going to eventually regret it but could the Philadelphia Flyers be one of the most aggressive suitors for Niskanen?
They are expected to make a top priority in adding a top-4 defenseman and Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly believes Niskanen could emerge as the Flyers top off-season priority.
“Matt Niskanen remains the most attractive option for the Flyers in free agency,” Pannaccio says. “If they are going to spend dollars on the blue line, it would best suited spending it there. Given Pittsburgh’s dilemma with several UFA’s including Brooks Orpik, and the Penguins cap situation, the Flyers could take the $6 million they were paying Timonen and give it to Niskanen in free agency. That’s something big to watch for this summer. It would be money well spent on the position.”
Brooks Orpik Update
Brooks Orpik, a pending UFA, was reportedly said to have suffered a serious knee injury against the New York Rangers in Round 2 but his agent Lewis Gross tells Inside Pittsburgh Sports that Orpik will be fully healthy for the start of training camp.
“Yes he will be ready,” Gross said.
Orpik, 33, believes he has 4 to 5 years left in him and teams are not scared of giving players hitting their mid-30’s, four to five year deals, but Orpik’s body breaking down late in the season could have a serious impact on his next deal as the talk around the league is that there are concerns of whether he has more than three productive years left in him.