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Penguins notebook: Ducks' Selanne says Maatta deserves spot on Finland Olympic team

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By Josh Yohe
Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, 9:06 p.m.
 

• Teemu Selanne hadn't seen Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta play until Monday. But Selanne received an early scouting report, and he believes Maatta could be a valuable figure for Finland in February's Winter Olympics in Sochi. “I've never seen this guy,” Selanne said. “But (former NHL enforcer) Tie Domi is a good buddy of mine and tells me about him. It's a great, great story. It's not too typical for a Finnish guy to come to the NHL this way. Usually you get drafted and come to the NHL when you're ready.” At 19, can Maatta thrive on the Olympic stage? “Oh, I think so,” Selanne said. “If you can play in the NHL, you can play in the Olympics. We don't have so many defensemen in the NHL right now.” Domi's son, Max, was a teammate of Maatta's at London (OHL). Maatta was thrilled to hear about Selanne's praise. “That's awesome that he said that,” Maatta said.

• Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said Whitehall native John Gibson, the team's second round pick in 2011, is on the verge of being a special NHL goaltender. He is playing for Norfolk in the AHL. “His future is like a supernova star,” Boudreau said. “He's going to be a solid, solid NHL goaltender for many years. We don't want to rush him, and we have quality goalies here. The more experience he gets in the AHL, the better he'll be.”

• The Penguins inserted forward Brian Gibbons into the lineup Monday — one day after recalling him from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL), where he led the team with 22 points in 15 games. Monday's game was his first in the NHL.

• Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and right wing Matt D'Agostini were healthy scratches Monday.

— Josh Yohe

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