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Olli Maatta Contract Signed, UFA Defenceman Off-the-Board

The Detroit Red Wings signed free agent defenceman Olli Maatta to a one-year contract worth $2.25 million. This contract carries him through the 2022-23 season.

Olli Maatta Signed Contract Entering 10th Season

Over his nine-year NHL career, Maatta played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, and Chicago Blackhawks thus far. The Penguins drafted him back in 2012 with their first-round, 22nd overall selection. In total, Maatta collected 30 goals and 106 assists for 136 points through 534 career games. In 2021-22, he posted one goal and seven assists for eight points in 66 games.

Maatta’s best years came early in his career as a member of the Penguins. He almost reached double-digit goal totals a few different times in Pittsburgh, something he hasn’t come close to replicating since. In 107 games as a King, Maatta scored just one goal and recorded only 12 points. His average ice time in LA sat a full minute below his career averages, as his performance resulted in less usage.

What This Means for the Future

Maatta enters 2022-23 with plenty to prove. His previous cap hit sat at a nice $4.083 million per season. That contract came from the Penguins in 2016, and just expired this summer. The size and length of that deal don’t really compare at all to this new deal, and understandably so after the decline in his performance.

The Kings remain an up-and-coming team, ready to contend in a weak Pacific Division. Their rebuild took major strides forward in 2021-22. Their postseason appearance came as a surprise, a berth most expected to see the Vegas Golden Knights occupy. With Vegas’ poor play down the stretch, and the Kings receiving contributions across their lineup, LA snuck in. Now, expectations bump a tad higher, and they expect to make the postseason again. With a large crop of young defencemen, expect them to make a splash in free agency. They hope to find someone closer to 2017-18 Maatta there, and less like 2021-22 Maatta.

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