The Chicago Blackhawks dealing Olli Maatta to Los Angeles sees a player tipped to be sent to the Seattle Kraken playing elsewhere.
Indeed, time will tell how he settles with the Los Angeles Kings and he could still end up with the Seattle Kraken. However, the likelihood seems less given LA will have other unprotected options that may also appeal.
Perhaps the biggest win for the Blackhawks is managing to shake Maatta’s salary for such a low cost. They retain just $750,108 of his near $4.1 million cap hit for the next two years. They also add Brad Morrison, who played at the ECHL level last season.
What this move does for Chicago is removes the need to likely throw a prospect, additional player or draft pick to the Seattle Kraken. Costing that much to remove an expensive player from the books is the reality of the Expansion Draft.
Realistically, the unprotected defensemen are going to likely be Calvin De Haan, the underrated Slater Koekkoek or Connor Murphy.
Both Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook won’t be moving because of their no-move clauses. Indeed, if they somehow are available, the Blackhawks will be paying a small fortune to ensure they’re selected.
The forward group doesn’t have that many stand-out options. Perhaps Brandon Saad or Andrew Shaw are too expensive to be worth protecting for Chicago. In all likelihood, there’s a chance of snagging Alexander Nylander or Ryan Carpenter; not a bad steal but not mind-blowing either.
By dealing away Maatta, the Expansion Draft has become easier. Simple move for the Chicago front office. Rest assured though, this won’t be their last move.
Let’s not forget they need a new number one goaltender. Moving Maatta is just the first move. By the time they’re done, they’re could very well be juicy options for the Seattle Kraken once more.
For the Los Angeles Kings, they have a lot less expansion dramas. Expect the Kraken to see offerings of Dustin Brown or Jeff Carter maybe. In fact, it’d be no surprise if Maatta still ends up as an offering too!
However, the LA Kings aren’t vying to be in contention. Rather they are a rebuilding team. The Blackhawks are pushing forward with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane still playing at an elite level.
Clearly, this is the fun of being an expansion team fan. Constantly thinking about what the expansion roster will look like. Certainly, it’s a fun game imagining specific players in Kraken colors!
Every single trade this season will mean something for us. Even the most minor-league of transactions might impact our first roster.
Start investing your time in watching the trade tracker, Kraken fans. That’s where all the action is at for us right now!