We may have seen the last of defenseman Matt Niskanen in Pittsburgh.
After Robert Bortuzzo signed a two-year deal Wednesday, the Penguins are $1 million over the cap, and they must find a way to be under the cap before the season arrives. Niskanen has one year left on his current contract, on which he will make $2.3 million this season.
If the Penguins do decide to trade him, they will be under the cap heading into the season by roughly $1.3 million. Niskanen is a not a top-four defensemen on this team, especially after the return of Rob Scuderi. Niskanen has made some bad mistakes in key moments of some games, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Penguins actually do decide to trade him.
If the Penguins deal Niskanen, they will probably not get a roster player. They will most likely get a top prospect or a first-round draft pick. The draft pick would be better because they didn’t even have one in this years NHL Draft.
The Penguins already have some great prospects right now on defense, so I don’t think they need any more there. I am very curious to see what they will do with Niskanen. We will find out very soon.