The Avalanche plans on being active this off-season, in terms of bolstering their blueline, and Niskanen will undoubtedly be on their radar, according to the Denver Post.
Niskanen has made $2.5 million this season, though his salary cap hit is $2.3 million, and will see his salary climb above $5 million, per year, on a new deal.
With roughly $16 million in available salary cap space, if the cap hits $71.1 million next season, and only 14 players locked up to contracts for 2014-15, the Penguins might have a difficult time re-signing Niskanen to a market-value deal.
The Avs have plenty of cap space, and can accommodate a hefty contract for Niskanen, or another high-priced free agent defenseman, but must also focus on re-signing some of their own players.
Center Paul Stastny is a pending unrestricted free agent, while forwards Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn and defensemen Tyson Barrie and Stefan Elliott are set to become restricted free agents July 1. The Avs will aim to re-sign all five of them, in addition to adding to their roster.