Maatta was speculated to be a potential buyout candidate and had 17 points in 65 games this season, a pace of 21 points per 82 games. He’s 26 years old, is a former first-round pick and has two years remaining on his contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Morrison is a 23-year-old forward who spent the 2019-20 season in the ECHL, where he had six goals and 19 points in 17 games. He was unlikely to ever make it up the organizational depth chart and essentially, moving him is a way to ensure the Kings don’t use up an extra spot of their 50-contract limit.
A key here is that Chicago will be retaining roughly $750,000 per year of Maatta’s salary, which reduces his AAV from $4.08 million to $3.33 million. It’s a cheap addition and solves the Kings’ need for a left-handed defenseman.
Tomorrow, I’ll post a more in-depth article, giving my thoughts and analysis on the trade.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Are you happy about the Kings acquiring Olli Maatta?