On Saturday evening, the Pittsburgh Penguins traded longtime blueliner Olli Maatta to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for center Domink Kahun and a 2019 fifth round selection.
Maatta spent the first six seasons of his career with Pittsburgh, going from promising defensive prospect to underachieving injury liability in recent years. The 24-year-old Finn holds his own in the offensive zone, but is often caught out of position due to his slow skating in the neutral and defensive zones. He’s totaled 25 goals and 107 points in 362 career regular season contests, including two 29-point seasons. Maatta is coming off a career-worst season by Corsi standards, registering a 46.4 percent Corsi rating and minus-4.3 relative Corsi percentage.
On the other side, Kahun just completed his rookie season with the Blackhawks, registering 13 goals and 37 points while averaging just over 14 minutes of ice time per game. He’s a perfect fit for what the Penguins look for in a bottom-six forward: Kahun plays center or wing and has experience on both the penalty kill and power play.
Perhaps most importantly, Pittsburgh cleared over $3 million in cap space by trading Maatta. The defenseman was set to make just under $4.1 million for the next three seasons. This will give the team flexibility this offseason as well as more cap space to re-sign Kahun and Jared McCann — both restricted free agents — next offseason.