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Saturday, October 19, 2013

UPDATE: Pens Officially Keep Maatta

Rob Rossi, Pittsburgh Penguins beat-writer from the Tribune Review, has just broke the news that the Pittsburgh Penguins will be keeping 19-year-old rookie defenceman Olli Maatta up with the team instead of sending him down to juniors. Rossi had just appeared on our Pens Initiative radio podcast the other night had said that the logical and safe choice for the Pens would be to send him down.

According to Rossi, once Maatta plays more than nine games this year, his entry-level contract will count against the salary cap. However, if Maatta plays in at least 40 games this year, this season will count as an accrued season, which means he'll be an unrestricted free-agent after the 2019-2020. Rossi reports that a decision hasn't been made by management of how long Maatta will stay up exactly.

Below an exert from Rossi's article:

"Maatta, listed at 6-foot-2, 206 pounds, can't play in the minors this season because of an arrangement between the NHL and junior hockey. 
Maatta could play only for the Penguins, his junior club in London or possibly a professional league overseas such as the Finland's SM Liiga. 
However, management's growing belief is that Maatta will develop better by staying in the NHL, the sources said. In fact, management had determined he was worth an NHL audition during a pre-training camp prospect tournament, the sources said. 
Though the organization is deepest on defense at the NHL and prospect level, Maatta is viewed as no worse than the sixth-best option at that position, the sources said. 
Kris Letang, the Penguins' injured top defenseman, has lobbied coaches to push for Maatta to stay in the NHL. 
Through eight games, Maatta has scored a goal, recorded two assists an averaged 15:14 of ice time — fifth among defensemen and 10th overall among Penguins."
To read the rest of Rob Rossi's article click here.

The news adds to what has been a landmark day for Olli Maatta as he scored his first NHL goal, the game tying goal, in this afternoon's 4-3 shoot out win over the Vancouver Canucks.

UPDATE: The Pens have officially announced Maatta is staying with the Penguins.  Full article via our friends at the Trib here: http://triblive.com/mobile/4936222-96/maatta-penguins-season

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