Penguins' Maatta to undergo shoulder surgery; top prospect Pouliot out 4-6 months
The Penguins' top young defensemen are injured.
Olli Maatta, a standout rookie this past season, will undergo shoulder surgery, the team confirmed Wednesday.
Maatta's recovery time will be determined after the procedure, the team said.
Also, Derrick Pouliot will require four to six months to recover from shoulder surgery Wednesday, the Penguins announced.
Pouliot was injured during the Western Hockey League final last week as the Tribune-Review reported Sunday.
The procedure Wednesday was to repair a torn labrum, the team said in a news release.
The Penguins rate Pouliot, 20, as their top overall prospect in a system stacked with defensemen. He was slated to begin next season with AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Pouliot was the eighth overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The Penguins had that pick because of a trade orchestrated by former general manager Ray Shero, who acquired Pouliot, center Brandon Sutter and defenseman Brian Dumoulin by sending center Jordan Staal to Carolina.
Shero made the move within days of Staal declining a 10-year contract worth about $57 million. Staal was Shero's first draft pick after the Penguins hired him in May 2006.
Maatta, 19, was the Penguins' other first-round pick in 2012.
Pouliot was a bargaining chip for Shero at the NHL trade deadline when he tried to negotiate a deal with Vancouver that would have brought center Ryan Kesler to the Penguins. Shero had planned to go back at Vancouver in an attempt to land Kesler this offseason.
The Penguins fired Shero last Friday. Shero's top assistant, Jason Botterill, is serving as interim general manager and will be a candidate for the full-time job, CEO David Morehouse said.
Morehouse is spearheading the search for Shero's replacement. Morehouse said only he reports directly to ownership, and that will be the case when a new general manager is hired.
The Penguins have yet to conduct formal interviews for the general manager position. The new general manager will determine the fate of coach Dan Bylsma and his assistants, Morehouse said.
Bylsma and the assistants — Tony Granato, Todd Reirden, Jacque Martin and goalie coach Mike Bales — remain under contract for the next two years.
Staff writer Josh Yohe contributed. Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.