Penguins place Olli Maatta on injured reserve
The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without defenseman Olli Maatta for an undetermined amount of time after the team placed him on injured reserve Tuesday afternoon.
Maatta, 24, sustained an upper-body injury after taking a hit Monday night in the Penguins’ 4-1 victory in Philadelphia. Maatta left the ice favoring his left arm in the first period after taking a hit from the Flyers’ Phil Varone.
Maatta has appeared in 55 games this season, accmulating one goal, 12 assists and a plus-7 rating.
In the short term, the Penguins are equipped to handle Maata’s absence. Justin Schultz, out since Oct. 13 with a broken leg, is nearly ready to step back into the lineup. Chad Ruhwedel remains on hand as an extra.
In the big picture, general manager Jim Rutherford might need to enter the defenseman trade market before the Feb. 25 deadline. Adding a veteran on an expiring contract — think the Ron Hainsey move when Kris Letang was injured in 2017 — would make sense.
The Penguins have 26 games remaining in their regular season. They return home and will play the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night at PPG Paints Arena. Faceoff is 8 p.m.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .