Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Two More Years For Olli Maata And The Wings

02/16/2023 at 11:03am EST


A few teams had showed interest in Maata for the trade deadline.


DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today signed defenseman Olli Maatta to a two-year contract extension with an average annual value of $3 million.
Maatta, 28, has skated in 49 games with the Red Wings this season, recording 17 points (5-12-17), a plus-five rating and 10 penalty minutes in 18:11 average time on ice. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound defenseman was signed by Detroit as a free agent on July 14, 2022 after spending the previous two seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, where he notched 12 points (1-11-12), a plus-nine rating and 16 penalty minutes in 107 appearances from 2020-22. Maatta helped the Kings clinch their first Stanley Cup playoff berth in four seasons in 2022, finishing with six shots, eight blocks and 12 hits in 16:55 average time on ice across seven postseason contests. In total, Maatta has played 10 seasons between the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, Kings and Red Wings since 2013-14, compiling 153 points (35-118-153), a plus-75 rating and 144 penalty minutes in 583 games, in addition to 27 points (5-22-27), a plus-28 rating and 24 penalty minutes in 85 postseason games. Originally selected by the Penguins in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Maatta won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships with the organization in 2016 and 2017. He placed fifth in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy as a 19-year-old after picking up 29 points (9-20-29), a plus-eight rating and 14 penalty minutes in 78 games during the 2013-14 campaign.
Prior to turning professional, Maatta spent two seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights from 2011-13, helping the team earn two-consecutive OHL titles. During his major junior career, Maatta logged 70 points (13-57-70), a plus-34 rating and 55 penalty minutes in 115 regular-season games, in addition to 37 points (10-27-37), a plus-21 rating and 10 penalty minutes in 40 postseason appearances. A native of Jyvaskyla, Finland, Maatta won a silver medal representing his country at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, recording a pair of assists in 10 games. He also made three appearances at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and captured a bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where he posted five points (3-2-5) in six games. Maatta skated in three-straight IIHF World Junior Championships from 2011-13 and served as an alternate captain at the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, collecting four points (1-3-4) in six games.


$3M AAV seems like a great value to nail down a solid experienced defenseman.

Still just 28, eating 18 Minutes TOI.


I loved the initial Maata signing and love this deal too. Very reasonable price and term. Great signing for this team.


I like the deal, and this might be the deal that sets up Hronek or Wallman or both to be traded. 


Why? We've got the best top four we've had in years.

And the only chatter about futures is Edvinsson, so 17 and 96 still fit.....


He has played well, and added a bit of offense as a plus. I hope they keep him past the deadline. 


A good signing. I don't see Hronek traded. maybe Wallman?


from Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic,

Moritz Seider has spent 511 minutes with Ben Chiarot and in that time was outscored 33-22 while earning 43 percent of the expected goals. In 333 minutes without him, Seider has outscored opponents 13-9 with 51 percent of the expected goals.

Filip Hronek has spent 257 minutes with Chiarot and in that time was outscored 10-7 while earning 46 percent of the expected goals. In 609 minutes without him, Hronek has outscored opponents 34-19 with 49 percent of the expected goals.

The Red Wings have the makings of a solid top four for the first time in a long time. Predictably, it’s one that doesn’t include Chiarot. Maybe he can hold his own on the third pair (his expected goals percentage did improve in sliding down to the second pair), but the way he’s sunk Detroit’s two best defenders has been a big problem this season.

more ($) team/player observations (not Detroit)


I don’t contest any validity to the implied conclusion above that Chiarot is dragging down his D pairings, but I don’t know how this stat “expected goals” is computed.  It’s sort of like the ambiguous fashionable baseball stat WAR ( Wins Above Replacement ).  Who’s the replacement, what is meant by, “Well, an average player at the position”.  It’s not well defined but does carry a lot of weight with some.  

I expect that Yzerman and Lidstrom have reached their own conclusions about Chiarot and others just by, you know, watching with their experienced eyes.


While I don't pretend to know Yzerman's intentions this signing certainly makes Maata more tradeable (reasonable contract, non-rental) as well as Hronek (with Maata under contract they'll have enough experienced defenders to deal with Hronek's absence). I'm guessing they'd rather keep Walman but might listen to offers (once again having Maata under contract makes trading Walman possible).

I'd still rather hear that Larkin or Walman was re-signed but the Maata contract looks good too.


Who replaces Hronek as our 2nd RD in your scenario? Because it wouldn't be Maata or Walman.


from mlive, not Khan.  "Calgary needed the break after a rough swing through the Eastern Conference, going 1-1-2 over the four games”

4 points in 4 road games isn’t really rough, is it?  Maybe my standards have been lowered in recent years, but even with the great Wings .500 on a west coast swing wasn’t bad at all.


from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Among defenseman Olli Määttä's goals when he signed with the Detroit Red Wings was a desire to establish himself as a regular in the NHL.

"I know I have more in me," he said in July. He backed that up by growing his game in his first year with the Wings, and that led to Thursday's announcement he has received a two-year, $6 million extension.

Määttä had been eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer. The 28-year-old had five goals, 12 assists and a plus-five rating through 49 games this season. He has played on the second or third pairing, showing a smart, simple game and taking advantage of jumping up in plays and contributing offensively.

The extension means the Wings have four defensemen under contract through next season: Määttä, Moritz Seider, Ben Chiarot and Filip Hronek. Pending UFA Jake Walman is likewise expected to be signed to an extension.



from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

"My mindset is really just playing the game and having fun and working hard," Nedeljkovic said after Wednesday's 5-4 victory over Rockford. "Getting back to the simple things and back to basics and remembering what it's all about."

Nedeljkovic made 38 saves Wednesday and improved to 8-4-2 since arriving in Grand Rapids. He has a sturdy 2.50 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.

Wednesday's victory may not have been as impeccable as some of the other games have been, but Nedeljkovic found a way to win. He battled.

And that's usually when Nedeljkovic is at this best.

"I feel good about where my game is at," Nedeljkovic said. "(Wednesday) was just a couple of weird bounces, a couple of plays that kind of got away from me. But I feel good.

"I feel like I can win a game on any given night, if need be."...

It wasn't anything technical, or something Nedeljkovic could necessarily tweak or correct in practice.

"Honestly it was just me thinking too much and overthinking the game itself," Nedeljkovic said. "Trying to anticipate a little too much. I've been able to, since I've been down here and play with these guys, to just go with the flow and read and react and get back to having some fun.

"When you start thinking, it's not that fun and usually when you start thinking, you start letting goals in and that's not fun, either. Just read and react and try not to think too much, and that's been the key for me lately."

more ($)

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