The Chicago Blackhawks have freed up some salary cap space for the coming season, trading defenseman Olli Maatta to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Brad Morrison.
Maatta, acquired in a trade by the Blackhawks prior to last season in exchange for forward Dominik Kahun, scored four goals and dished out 13 assists for the Blackhawks in 65 games played in his only season in Chicago.
Maatta carries a cap hit of just over $4 million in each of the next two seasons, according to CapFriendly. The Blackhawks will retain just over $750,000 of Maatta's contract in each of the new two seasons.
Morrison, a fourth round pick of the New York Rangers in the 2015 NHL Draft, played for the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL last season, with six goals and 13 assists to his credit in 17 games.
The forward is entering the final season of his entry-level contract, with a $743,333 cap hit if he makes the Blackhawks’ roster next season.
With the cap savings generated by the trade, the Blackhawks have positioned themselves to potentially bring back a few different players who are due raises this offseason. Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik, both of whom are hitting restricted free agency, would require raises to keep around, and goaltender Corey Crawford, whose contract expired at the conclusion of the season, could also be in play for the Blackhawks as free agency looms next week.