Ray Shero offered restricted free agent Matt Niskanen a one year, $1.75 million qualifying offer last night. Niskanen laughed. Apparently he feels he did enough for the Penguins this year to warrant some kind of raise over his $1.75 mil salary he made last year. Can you blame him?
Pens have officially offered Niskanen a qualifying offer of one year, $1.75 million. Was turned down. Negotiations to continue.
— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) June 15, 2012
Niskanen was easily the Pens most consistent and reliable player this season, and that’s saying something after he pulled his best Josef Melichar when he first arrived in the Burgh at last year’s trade deadline. He played more games than any other Pens’ defensemen, and while Kris Letang took trips to the IR, Niskanen stepped up in a big way in the offensive zone. And while Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek were busy getting toasted for the first 3/4 of the year, Niskanen was solid in his own end. And while the Pens forgot how to play hockey in the playoffs, Niskanen was their most consistent blue liner…and he was playing with a bum shoulder.
It’s no secret that Niskanen wants to re-sign with the Pens and Shero has made it pretty clear that the Pens want him back too. This will be the last contract he gets to sign as a RFA so he’s probably just looking to get as much as possible without pissing off Shero. He knows the cap situation the Pens are in so if he wants to stay it shouldn’t be too hard to get him to without heading to arbitration. A deal will get done.
“I have fallen in love with this organization. I play my best here. I hope I’m back. It’s not entirely up to me, but hopefully everything works out so that I’m back next year.”