The Pittsburgh Penguins will be making some major offseason changes this upcoming summer, that much is undeniable at this point.
Of course in recent days there have been rampant rumors regarding the future of star forward Phil Kessel and by all accounts it looks like he is well on his way out of Pittsburgh already. That being said Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford did indicate that there would be some big changes made to the organization over the course of the offseason and that would appear to indicate that a single move may not be enough. That of course leaves the question, who else is going to be moved by the Penguins?
Well in a recent article published for Sportsnet, National Hockey League reporter Ryan Dixon touched on the fact that Pittsburgh Penguins veteran defenseman Olli Maatta could also be a player that is on the move over the course of the offseason. Interestingly enough it seems that, like Phil Kessel himself, Maatta may have worn out his welcome in Pittsburgh after years of being a source of frustration for the team.
Maatta has completely fallen out of favour in Pittsburgh on a team that is always looking for ways to create cap space and hits the off-season determined to shake things up. His age (25 in August) and pedigree as a 2012 first-rounder would garner him another look on their own. Now consider this is a player who’s won a pair of rings and saw the third-most minutes of any Penguins blue-liner during the team’s title run just two years ago.
It is likely the fact that Maatta was a 1st round draft selection that has led to him never living up to the high expectations the Penguins had for him. The issue for Pittsburgh here is that Maatta has also found himself a healthy scratch on more than one occasion under Mike Sullivan and that has no doubt hurt his value as a trading chip for Jim Rutherford. That being said given his championship level experience it would not be crazy to see a team take a stab at him.
The left shooting defenseman appeared in 60 regular season games for Pittsburgh this seasonm recording 1 goal and 13 assists for a total of 14 points on the season.