While the Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to try for a big splash Sunday, they kept one of their key free agents from reaching the open market Saturday.
Defenseman Matt Niskanen and the Penguins agreed to a two-year deal, reportedly worth $4.6 million according Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Niskanen had four goals and 21 points in 75 games for the Penguins last season.
Niskanen, who will turn 26 in December, was acquired by Pittsburgh along with James Neal for Alex Goligoski before the trade deadline during the 2010-11 season.
Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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