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Shero: Maatta Decision Will Be Based On What's Best For Player, Team

PITTSBURGH (KDKA 93-7 The Fan)- The Pittsburgh Penguins have been off to a fast start in the 2013-14 season.

One player who has drawn notice for his strong play has been rookie defenseman Olli Maatta. But the Penguins have to make a decision on whether they will keep Maatta on the NHL roster or return him to his junior club in London, Ontario.

"The first thing is always what's best for the player long-term and in close order to that is what's best for the team," Shero told The Fan's Bob Pompeani.

"We'll sit down after the weekend most likely and kind of see what's going to be best for Olli and best for the hockey team and try to make an informed decision if we can and go from there, but he's been pretty impressive so far."

Shero said that it would be hard to pick out only one player who has been the most impressive so far. But he did note the strong play of Matt Niskanen.

"Matt's a team-first guy, and he's a good defenseman," Shero said. "With Kris (Letang) out, (he)'s really played well on the power play with Paul Martin. He's a plus-10, he's taken care of his end of the ice."

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has played well in the early season. Shero told Pompeani that it's too early to think about how Fleury will respond in the playoffs.

"I don't want to look, and he should not look, too far ahead," Shero said. "You've got to go through the process of the regular season and improve your game. We're going to have ups and downs like every team. It's encouraging for the start that he's had for sure and he's given our team lots of confidence."

Ray Shero

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