|Assets:||Is an incredible athlete and superb skater. Owns a lot of offensive ability, including a good point shot, but is also capable of playing in all game situations.|
|Flaws:||Needs to improve his defensive consistency, since he tends to run around in his own end a bit. Also lacks ideal hockey sense, which hinders his game.|
|Career Potential:||Talented, yet inconsistent defenseman.|
|NHL||Played in the NHL YoungStars Game||2007-08|
|2/13/2013||Missed 8 games (ankle injury).|
|1/31/2013||Ankle injury, injured reserve.|
|1/29/2013||Lower body injury, day-to-day.|
|7/01/2012||Signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins to a two-year contract.|
|4/15/2012||Missed 2 regular season and 2 playoff games (upper body injury).|
|4/05/2012||Upper body injury, day-to-day.|
|3/30/2012||Missed 4 games (upper body injury).|
|3/24/2012||Upper body injury, day-to-day.|
|11/11/2011||Missed 1 game (lower body injury).|
|11/05/2011||Lower body injury, day-to-day.|
|3/20/2011||Missed 2 games (flu).|
|2/21/2011||Acquired from the Dallas Stars.|
|2/15/2011||Missed 3 games (hand injury).|
|2/11/2011||Hand injury, day-to-day.|
|1/21/2011||Missed 6 games (lacerated hand).|
|1/07/2011||Lacerated hand, day-to-day.|
|9/16/2010||Re-signed as a restricted free agent by the Dallas Stars to a two-year contract.|
|6/15/2010||Dallas Stars tendered a qualifying offer.|
|10/28/2009||Missed 1 game (head injury).|
|10/24/2009||Head injury, day-to-day.|
|3/13/2008||Missed 1 game (sore back).|
|3/09/2008||Sore back, day-to-day.|
|3/05/2008||Missed 3 games (foot injury).|
|2/26/2008||Foot injury, day-to-day.|
|3/19/2007||Signed by the Dallas Stars to a three-year contract.|
|2/21/2011||Pittsburgh Penguins traded Alex Goligoski to the Dallas Stars for James Neal and Matt Niskanen.|
|7/30/2005||Drafted by the Dallas Stars in the 1st round (28th overall) in 2005.|
Matt Niskanen turning into key member of Pens | 10/19/2013 11:39 AM
NewsDefenseman Matt Niskanen, whom many expected to be traded in a salary move this summer, has been an important figure in Pittsburgh's 6-1-0 start.
ImpactThrough the season's first two weeks, only two NHL defensemen have produced more points than Niskanen's six. He leads the NHL with a plus-10 mark, and he and defenseman Rob Scuderi have formed a strong pairing. Niskanen has been more influential in the offensive zone than in years past, firing one-timers at will. He scored the game-winning goal on a one-timer against Tampa Bay last Saturday. Niskanen, 26, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and signing him to a long-term deal could be difficult for the Penguins, who have approximately $18 million in salary locked into the blue line next season. The organization also has a wealth of defensive prospects in Olli Maatta, Simon Despres, Derrick Pouliot, Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin - all of whom are or are close to being NHL-ready. Niskanen, however, hinted strongly that he would consider staying in Pittsburgh for less money than he could receive on the open market.
Matt Niskanen gets game winner Saturday | 10/13/2013 11:01 AM
NewsMatt Niskanen scored the game winner with only 19 seconds remaining on Saturday.
ImpactIt was a power play goal and his first of the season. Niskanen has been getting extra offensive duties with the injury to Kris Letang, and he now has five points this season as he also picked up an assist Saturday. Do not expect this scoring surge to continue but milk it as long as Letang remains sidelined.
Matt Niskanen gets off to strong start | 10/08/2013 11:43 AM
NewsMatt Niskanen has gotten off to a strong start with three points in two contests.
Impact"I feel comfortable, happy that everything's going well," Niskanen said. "I put in the work to get ready for camp. Camp went well. And now it's carried over to the first couple [of games]." Niskanen's name was brought up in trade rumors during training camp, but it looks like he'll stick with the Penguins for now. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has called Niskanen their best defenseman so far.
Matt Niskanen gets two points Saturday | 10/06/2013 10:32 AM
NewsMatt Niskanen registered two assists on Saturday.
ImpactNiskanen has three points in two games. Trade rumors swirled around him going into the season because the Penguins could use the cap space, but at this point we doubt he'll be traded anytime soon.
Pens not thinking about moving Niskanen | 09/28/2013 8:36 PM
NewsEven though the Penguins are over the salary cap, general manager Ray Shero will not look to move Matt Niskanen.
ImpactThe defenseman has a $2.3 million cap hit, which is a little much for a bottom-pair defenseman. Pittsburgh feels comfortable with him playing top-four minutes in case of an injury, so they value keeping him around. He had 14 points and averaged 20:21 of ice time per game last season. If Kris Letang (lower-body injury) isn't ready for the start of the year, Niskanen would be moved up.
Matt Niskanen knows he could be traded | 09/03/2013 10:53 AM
NewsMatt Niskanen knows that his future with the Penguins is uncertain heading into training camp.
Impact"I know the situation we're in, being over the cap," Niskanen said after an informal workout Monday. "It's pretty evident that Ray [Shero, the general manager] has to make a decision. Someone who probably otherwise is a regular on our roster [will be traded]." Rob Scuderi's signing in July and Niskanen's cap hit of $2.3 million makes him a logical candidate to be moved. He should also be able to attract interest on the trade market because he is becoming a much more reliable defender.
Rob Scuderi's arrival leads to trade talks | 07/07/2013 10:20 AM
NewsThe signing of defenseman Rob Scuderi makes it a relative certainty the Penguins will trade a blueliner before the start of the season.
ImpactNot only do the Pens currently have eight NHL-caliber defensmen on their roster, but since they're expected to be above the salary cap threshold, a move of some sort seems like a no-brainer. Given that he's one year away from free agency, Matt Niskanen's name has been one of the more popular ones mentioned in trade talks. A move to a team where he could take on a more offensive role could actually be a boon to his fantasy value. Stay tuned to see how the situation develops.
Matt Niskanen playing a number of roles | 05/19/2013 8:25 AM
NewsPenguins Matt Niskanen recently found himself on the team's top defensive pairing alongside superstar Kris Letang.
ImpactNiskanen, who plays a fairly well-rounded game, understands he must play a more defensive style when paired with the Norris Trophy finalist. "Being aware of when [Letang] is being aggressive up the ice, I've got to be more responsible to let him do what he does," Niskanen said. It's a testament to his versatility that Niskanen can be paired with such an offensive partner after spending time alongside stay-at-home blueliner Doug Murray.
Matt Niskanen is taken off IR by Penguins | 02/13/2013 6:45 PM
NewsThe Pittsburgh Penguins have taken Matt Niskanen (ankle) off of injured reserve.
Dave Molinari on Twitter
ImpactThe move could pave the way for his return to the lineup on Wednesday night. He and Kris Letang were both listed as game-time decisions after the morning skate. Niskanen has missed the Penguins' past eight contests with an ankle injury. Prior to getting hurt, he was partnered with Letang on the blueline.
Matt Niskanen (ankle) is getting closer | 02/13/2013 12:39 PM
NewsMatt Niskanen (ankle) practiced with his teammates on Tuesday.
ImpactHe probably won't play Wednesday but he is progressing. "It doesn't do any good to come back and be hobbling around out there," he said. "I don't want to be a liability." Niskanen has been out of action since Jan. 27 because of an ankle injury.
Matt Niskanen skates with Penguins' Sunday | 02/11/2013 11:59 AM
NewsMatt Niskanen (ankle) took part in Sunday's optional skate.
Impact"It feels good to be out with the team again," said Niskanen. "Mike Kadar does a good job, but that gets old pretty quickly." Kadar is the Penguins' conditioning coach. Niskanen cautioned that he still had "a few more steps to take" before he'll be ready to return to Pittsburgh's lineup.
Matt Niskanen to miss Sunday's contes | 02/10/2013 12:35 PM
NewsMatt Niskanen (ankle) will miss Sunday's contest against the New Jersey Devils.
Rob Rossi on Twitter
ImpactNiskanen had been playing with Kris Letang this campaign and was off to a good start with three points in five games before the injury. "It is feeling better. I've been able to do more and more things on the ice every day. I'd like to think I'm close (to returning), but we'll just have to wait and see how I progress. Got a few more steps to take," said Niskanen.
Pens place Matt Niskanen (ankle) on IR | 01/31/2013 2:24 PM
NewsMatt Niskanen (ankle) has been placed on Pittsburgh's injured reserve list.
Dave Molinari on Twitter
ImpactHe's projected to miss two to four weeks with an ankle injury. Niskanen's move to the IR means that the Penguins don't have to adjust their roster following Zach Boychuk's arrival off waivers from Carolina.
Matt Niskanen (ankle) will miss 2-4 weeks | 01/30/2013 6:17 PM
NewsMatt Niskanen is slated to miss the next two to four weeks with what is believed to be an ankle injury.
ImpactHe suffered the injury during Sunday's win over Ottawa and didn't play on Tuesday because of it. Niskanen had been playing well prior to getting hurt with three points in five games and plenty of ice time next to Kris Letang.
Matt Niskanen (lower body) won't play Tuesday | 01/29/2013 9:42 AM
NewsMatt Niskanen won't play Tuesday, but his lower-body injury isn't expected to keep him on the shelf for very long.
ImpactIt is expected that he will be listed as day-to-day following Tuesday's contest. Niskanen had been playing with Kris Letang this campaign and he was off to a good start with three points and nine shots in five games. Simon Despres or Robert Bortuzzo will take his place in the lineup.
Penguins' Matt Niskanen sustains LBI Sunday | 01/28/2013 1:24 PM
NewsMatt Niskanen played only nine shifts for 6:39 of ice time in Sunday's 2-1 shootout win over Ottawa because of a lower-body injury.
ImpactHe didn't play the final two periods after suffering what may have been a knee injury. Niskanen was tripped by Senators forward Milan Michalek late in the first period and he went hard into the boards knee-first. He will be re-evaluated on Monday, but the severity of the injury was unclear after the game.
|Goals||1||at TB||Oct 12||1|
|Assists||2||3 times-last:at Bos||last:Dec 7||2|
|Points||2||4 times-last:at Bos||last:Dec 7||2|
|Penalty Minutes||5||vs. CBJ||Nov 1||2|
|Plus/Minus||2||5 times-last:vs. SJ||last:Dec 5||3|
|Power Play Goals||1||at TB||Oct 12||0|
|Power Play Points||2||at Bos||Dec 7||1|
|Shorthanded Goals||0||32 times-last:vs. CBJ||last:Dec 9||0|
|Shorthanded Points||0||32 times-last:vs. CBJ||last:Dec 9||0|
|Shots||6||at Phi||Oct 17||5|
|Penalty Minutes||52||2008-09 (Dal)|
|Power Play Goals||3||2011-12 (Pit)|
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