I am not sure why so many are down on Niskanen. he is 27, a RHed shot, and is very good defensively. For the last 6 seasons, he has been better than Kronwall defensively in 5 on 5 play. he has been developing offensively as well. At 27 years of age a 7 year deal brings him to 34 or the same age that kronwall turns this year. Adding guy like Niskenan makes our D better for each pair. having a guy like Niskanen to pair with Dekeyser to form a top pair. Niskanen is a very solid 2/3. Many of us believe that Dekeyser is turning into a 1/2. That makes a true top pair and allows Kornwall and either Ericsson or Smith to form a solid/great 2nd pair. That would make Kronwell/Ericsson better. Thus our whole D becomes better.
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