On Thursday, the Detroit Red Wings announced they had signed defenseman Olli Maatta to a two-year, $6 million ($3 million average annual value) contract extension.
The 28-year-old was signed as a free agent to a one-year, $2.25 million contract this past summer as Detroit overhauled their blueline under Derek Lalonde and Bob Boughner.
Over the past few seasons, Maatta has developed into more of a defensive defenseman which can be credited to playing under Todd McLellan with the Los Angeles Kings. With five goals and 12 assists, Maatta is on pace to have his best offensive season since 2017-18 when he was with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It was reported by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli following the extension announcement that a few teams had inquired about Maatta’s availability ahead of the NHL trade deadline.
Maatta provides Detroit’s left side of the blueline with stability, developing chemistry with Filip Hronek, who has had a breakout season on both ends of the ice. Now past this season, Detroit has Chiarot, and now Maatta signed, giving Detroit’s prospects such as Albert Johansson and William Wallinder time to develop in the minor leagues. The Red Wings still have a decision to make on pending unrestricted free agent Jake Walman, who has been a nice story all season for Detroit.
If the Red Wings can retain Walman and if Red Wings’ top prospect Simon Edvinsson can make the jump to the NHL next season, Detroit will have the deepest blueline they have had in a long time.