Penguins' Maatta out 6 weeks after hand surgery

by
Charles LeClaire / USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta underwent surgery on his hand and is expected to be absent from the lineup for six weeks, the team announced Friday.

He exited Thursday's overtime victory over the Winnipeg Jets after a heavy collision with Adam Lowry.

Maatta's been healthy this season, missing just two games. His offensive totals are down in his fourth season, as he's contributed just a goal and six assists in over 18 minutes a night.

Pittsburgh also lost Justin Schultz in the win, complicating matters with less than two weeks remaining before the trade deadline. It's been rumored that the Penguins are interested in adding an impact forward, but it's hard to imagine the framework of the deal not having to include a section of their now much-needed depth on the back end.

That said, if he remains on LTIR through the end of the regular season, the Penguins could conceivably spend his $4-million cap hit on other assets and then include him on the playoff roster without overage penalty.

For now, the six-week timetable for Maatta's return puts him in line to return before the Penguins begin their postseason title defense.