Penguins' Maatta cleared for contact, still questionable for season opener

Oct 4, 1:38 PM

Sophomore Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta is still hoping to play in Pittsburgh's season opener on Thursday and took a major step towards that goal on Saturday: 

Though Maatta has been cleared for contact, his continued convalescence from offseason shoulder surgery could still cost him the first game of the season.

Maatta, 20, was second among all Penguins defenders in points during his rookie campaign last season, while logging the third most time on ice of any Pittsburgh blue-liner. 

If he can be ready from day one of the regular season that would provide a major boost to a club that lost veteran defenders Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen in free agency this summer.

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Charles LeClaire

Sep 16, 9:18 PM

Penguins' Maatta awaiting clearance for contact after offseason shoulder surgery

Sep 16, 9:18 PM

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta is waiting for official medical clearance after undergoing shoulder surgery back in May. A new medical report on his status is expected to drop Wednesday or Thursday, possibly clearing him for contact prior to the start of training camp.

Head coach Mike Johnston is hopeful the 20-year-old will be good to go on opening night.

“Once he can take contact,” Johnston told the Tribune-Review. “It's in (trainer Chris Stewart's) hands and in Olli's hands.”

The procedure traditionally carries a four- to six-month recovery period.

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Charles LeClaire

May 22, 5:16 PM

Penguins' Maatta undergoes shoulder surgery, out 4-6 months

May 22, 5:16 PM

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta underwent successful shoulder surgery Thursday, and is expected to be out 4-6 months, according to the team's official website.

The 19-year-old scored nine goals and added 20 assists while averaging 18:05 of ice time in 78 games as a rookie.

The labral repair surgery could keep Maatta off the ice until sometime in November, well into the 2014-15 season.

May 21, 7:18 PM

Penguins' Maatta will have shoulder surgery Thursday

May 21, 7:18 PM

Penguins defenseman Olli Maata will undergo shoulder surgery in Pittsburgh on Thursday, according to Bob McKenzie.

His recovery time is expected to be four months but as McKenzie explains, doctors might re-evaluate that timeframe after the surgery.