One of the Northland's own is hanging up his skates. The news came on Monday that Matt Niskanen has decided to retire after 13 seasons of pro hockey. Niskanen was born in Virginia Minnesota. He grew up playing high school hockey for Virginia / Mountain Iron Buhl. He then went on to play for the UMD Bulldogs.

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During his sophomore season with the Bulldogs he scored 9 goals and 22 assists and was also named to the 06-07 All WCHA First Team and All WCHA Academic Team. After his sophomore year, Niskanen decided to turn pro and joined the Iowa Stars which was the Dallas Stars' affiliate. He was selected in the first round by the Dallas stars in 2005, and eventually made his way onto the Stars NHL roster out of training camp for the 2007-2008 season.

He played for the Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, and Philadelphia Flyers. Niskanen was a part of the 2018 Washington Capitals who won the Stanley Cup.

Niskanen retired still with one year left on his contract with the Flyers. He was aquired in a trade last year and only played one year for Philadelphia. He would have earned 5.75 million this season.

In his stats listed on NHL.com, he played 949 regular season games scoring 356 points with 72 goals and 284 assists. In post season he played 140 games scoring 6 goals and 36 assists.

According to multiple sources, his surprise retirement is leaving the Flyers in a tough spot as they try to adjust their team line up.

Congratulations to Matt on a great career and enjoy your retirement!