Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What's the Maatta?

Another Maatta post, another Maatta pun.  Funny as it may (not) be the puns give way for the serious question: What to do with Olli Maata?

Amongst Penguins fans keeping Maatta vs. sending him back is the modern day equivalent of Great Taste v Less Filling.  The truth is much like Great Taste and Less Filling there is no wrong answer to this.  Both are enjoyable for a long time to come.

Keeping Olli Maatta would be nice.  For anyone who has ever picked out their own Christmas present not much differs here.  You've seen what you have and what it can do and you want it now.  Why wait until Christmas to really play with your new gadget?!  You want it now!  And you can absolutely do that.  The question becomes what about later?  There's one less toy under the tree at a time when that may be nice.

Keeping Maatta helps the team now.  He's another option on an already deep blue line.  Credit to him for fitting in so well amongst pros at the tender age of 19.  However keeping him means keeping him for a while.  Should he falter you've wasted a contract year and now he looks like a Juniors player: flashes of great but a liability.  Is this the Pens need to take when Olli Maatta is not a need for the Penguins?  As Rob Rossi told us in his interview last week he's a luxury.  Is he a luxury best saved until Christmas morning?

Sending him back down is just as up in the air.  From the outside it sure seems Maatta has learned all he can from the Junior level but are we sure of this?  If he had the redundancy of lower level competition may stunt his growth slightly or he may just coast on through picking up bad habits.  None of this is even hinted at but it is a possibility.

Olli Maatta and Scott Harrington talk dying camp
The benefit of Maatta going?  Ice time.  Lots of it.  Leadership.  Plenty of it.  The things he can share with his London mates could be exceptionally beneficial.  Included in that list?  Penguins draftee and teammate Scott Harrington, a 2nd round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.  The things he could impart upon Harrington as to what the team expects, how it operates, and what to do going forward could be huge to a young man of whom a lot is expected in Harrington.

There is no wrong answer to this question.  There is something to be gained on either side of this coin.  More time to develop and more years of control or improvement upon the d-line and immediate help.  As strong as your opinion may be the other side is just as correct.  This article is not to help sway you.  This article is so you do not to freak out no matter if it's heads or tails.  He stays, he goes, no Maatta.  The Penguins have a great talent on their hands.
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