Penguins Re-Sign Defenseman Matt Niskanen
Saturday, 06.30.2012 / 12:30 PM / News

The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed defenseman Matt Niskanen to a two-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.

The deal runs through the 2013-14 campaign, and has an average annual value of $2.3 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 ‘07-0. Niskanen added three points (1G-2A) in four playoff games.

The 6-foot, 209-pound Niskanen has played one-plus seasons with the Penguins since being acquired with James Neal from the Dallas Stars on Feb. 21, 2011. During that time he has appeared in 93 regular-season games, collecting five goals, 20 assists, 25 points and a plus-7 rating. He also has four points (1G-3A) in 11 playoff games.

Originally drafted by Dallas in the first round (28th overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft, Niskanen has played in 370 career NHL games with the Stars and Penguins, tallying 21 goals and 107 points. His best season came in ’08-09, when he established career highs in games played (80), assists (29) and points (35). Niskanen has seven points (1G-6A) in 27 career playoff games.

Prior to joining the Stars, the Virginia, Minnesota native spent two seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he scored 45 points (10G-35A) in 77 career contests. Niskanen was named All-WCHA First-Team as a sophomore after posting 31 points (9G-22A) in 39 contests.

Penguins re-sign Matt Niskanen to two-year, $4.6 million deal
Joe Yerdon
Jun 30, 2012, 12:47 PM EDT

The Penguins are continuing to make sure their house is in order ahead of the July 1 frenzy.

Pittsburgh announced they’ve re-signed defenseman Matt Niskanen to a two-year, $4.6 million deal, good for a cap hit of $2.3 million per season.

Niskanen finished this past season with 21 points working as a third-pair defenseman for the team. Niskanen also had three points in the playoffs for the Pens in their opening round loss to Philly. Niskanen was part of the deal with Dallas that also brought James Neal to the Penguins and it’s safe to say that’s working out well for Pittsburgh.

Now Niskanen has the opportunity to grab a top-four defensive spot with the team with Zbynek Michalek sent to Phoenix, but with the Pens also in pursuit of Ryan Suter his third pairing spot should be secure. According to, the Penguins now have $12.2 million in cap space to spend like drunken sailors tomorrow.