Matt Niskanen Given a Qualifying Offer, Declines It, Negotiations to Continue

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 11: Matt Niskanen #2 and Brooks Orpik #44, both of the Pittsburgh Penguins, warm up in camouflage jerseys to honor Veteran's Day before a game against the Dallas Stars on November 11, 2011 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

There hasn't been much news about the Pittsburgh Penguins UFA's or RFA's to be. In part, because there aren't too many of them. Matt Niskanen, Eric Tangradi and Brian Strait are all the most notable restricted free agents, and all are expected to be given qualifying offers, but no official news has broken yet. Until now, according to Josh Yohe of the Trib:

Pens have officially offered Niskanen a qualifying offer of one year, $1.75 million. Was turned down. Negotiations to continue

Nothing unexpected or out of character here, but interesting that some news breaks. We had heard from the Trib that GM Ray Shero wanted to start talking to Niskanen about a contract for next year, and now we'll see where it goes from here. The Pens will hold his rights through the summer, and it seems unlikely that any other NHL team will come a'callin with an offer sheet for the likes of Matt Niskanen.

Niskanen did lead all Penguin defensemen in games played this season (75) and was a surprising and steadying player for Pittsburgh in his first full year with the club. Though, obviously over-shadowed by 40-goal man and his trade partner James Neal, Niskanen proved he could be a decent NHL option and a pretty good player in any scenario.

The question will be just how the Pens can fit him in- as of now they have four defensemen with contracts making $3.5 million or more next year (Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Zbynek Michalek and Paul Martin) as well as vets in Deryk Engelland and Ben Lovejoy under contract. Youngsters like Strait, Robert Bortuzzo and Simon Despres are also improving and in the mix for full-time NHL jobs. Trades are possible, but as of now it's a cloudy and crowded picture on the Penguins defensive corps.

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join PensBurgh

You must be a member of PensBurgh to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at PensBurgh. You should read them.

Join PensBurgh

You must be a member of PensBurgh to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at PensBurgh. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker