Matt Niskanen announces retirement after 13 NHL seasons

Matt Niskanen retire
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Matt Niskanen has decided to retire after a 13-season NHL career.

“Thank you to the Flyers organization for the opportunity to play in Philly last season,” Niskanen wrote in a statement via the team. “I’d also like to thank the fans for their support and lastly, I wish my teammates the best of luck.”

The 33-year-old Niskanen played last season with the Flyers scoring eight goals and recording 33 points in 68 games. The surprise in his decision is that he still had one year to go on a seven-year deal he signed back in 2014.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Flyers asked Niskanen, who was dealt to Philadelphia last summer, to take some time before he made his final decision but he was at peace with walking away.

Niskanen was the 28th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft by the Dallas Stars. In his fourth season, he was part of a deal with James Neal that had him on his way to the Pittsburgh Penguins. After four seasons there he signed that monster deal with the Washington Capitals where he would win the Stanley Cup in 2018. He finishes his career with 72 goals and 356 points in 949 games.

For the Flyers, Niskanen forfeits his $5.75M salary that would have been coming to him for the 2020-21 NHL season and that cap hit comes off their books. Now after signing Justin Braun to a two-year deal, it leaves GM Chuck Fletcher with a little over $8.6 million in cap space, per Cap Friendly.

MORE: 2020 NHL Free Agent Tracker

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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