The Olli Maatta injury that will likely knock him out for the rest of the regular season has a lot of different dynamics at play.
1. For one, the Penguins were already floating him in trade talks, most notably to the Avalanche as a center piece in talks for Matt Duchene, and had made him available to a few other specific teams, sources have said.
2. The Penguins have also been looking hard at defensemen on the market, Buffalo’s Dmitry Kulkiov among them, who even prior to the Maatta injury, wouldn’t have been coming in to sit in the press box.
From a cap standpoint, the injury could make Jim Rutherford even more aggressive and dangerous on the trade market.
The Penguins will have the primary option to place Maatta on LTIR, use the cap space to make an addition and then re-activate Maatta for the playoffs where there’s no salary cap.
All speculation at this point, but one NHL source told me about 30 minutes after the Maatta injury was announced that ‘don’t be so fast’ to think this injury closes the door on the Penguins pursuing Duchene for instance. The hand injury is not a significant one like Beau Bennett had for example that sidelines a player for 12 weeks. Colorado would also have no use for Maatta for this season anyways.
Some other quick thoughts on the Maatta’s injury.
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