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