By Larry Snyder
To be under the National Hockey League salary cap by 5 p.m., the Pittsburgh Penguins assigned 21-year-old defenseman Olli Maatta to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The 6-foot-2, 206-pound member of the blue line crew led the Black and Gold in the preseason with a plus-7 in four contests. The native of Jyvaskyla, Finland had a goal and an assist in those four match-ups.
The Pens recalled 21-year-old center Oskar Sundqvist from WBS. The move allows Pittsburgh to be at their total team salary cap level until sidelined players like forwards Eric Fehr, Tom Kuhnhackl, and Pascal Dupuis are assigned to long-term injured reserve.
Pittsburgh opens their 2015/2016 NHL season on the road Thursday against the Stars in Dallas. Maatta is expected to be on the ice. The Black and Gold may keep Sunqvist on board to take Dupuis’ spot on the bench.
Beyond The Boards: In the meantime, 24-year-old defenseman Tim Erixon cleared waivers. The Port Chester, New York native was not consigned to the minors. Head coach Mike Johnston and the Penguins want to keep him for practice with the squad unless his roster spot becomes required.