This trade is about one thing and one thing only...cold hard
cash cap space. The Blackhawks send a serviceable 3rd pair defenseman to LA for a guy who will likely not even play for Rockford. That is fine. It's hard to make a deal and get any sort of valuable asset in return when the entire world knows that you really can't afford to keep a guy like Maatta. The Blackhawks only real options were to do a trade like this or to buy him out. This is what Stan Bowman decided
Okay so then the question because WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU DO A TRADE FOR A GUY WHO CAN NOT HELP YOU AND THEN RETAIN SALARY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
Like seriously...Maatta's buy out cost the Hawks less against the cap than they retained in this deal and here is what it'll cost should the Kings decide to buy him out
I understand there are many things to factor in when evaluating a trade. This trade was to clear cap space, but the asset they got in return effectively makes this a buy out in principle but only more expensive. Brad Morrison played in the Coast last year. A league that is not going to exist in 2021 because of Covid-19. He can't help you. What is the point of having a guy like that in the organization if you have to pay $750k for the privilege of doing this trade when you could've just bought him out? Again, I hope the Blackhawks make the logic known because at the surface this feels like a deal that you only make if you don't own a calculator. It's not THAT much money. It's not THAT big of a deal. It's not MY money. I shouldn't be annoyed. It just seems like the Hawks make simple things more difficult. Like, for instance, trading for Maatta to begin with. The Hawks would've been better off if Stan just dropped his phone in the toilet last year. That same group, but with Jokiharju and Kahun is better than the team was with Nylander and Maatta…and far less expensive.
The other thing that it COULD be, but it'd require some research…is this about real actual dollars and not just purely cap space? I don't know what the Blackhawks balance sheet looks like, but maybe Stan was told that he couldn't simply eat the money Maatta would be owed in a buyout. If that is the case then there is a new sheriff in town and a new reality when it comes to how the Blackhawks spend in the off-season.
I am glad Maatta is gone because he makes too much money for what he is and what the Hawks have available, but my god this entire thing with him has been a clusterfuck since the beginning. I will be very mad if the organization tries to tell me Brad Morrison has 100k worth of value to the organization and that is why they made this trade instead of doing a simple buy out.
PS: I am also sort of somewhat surprised that after the bubble Maatta had in which he got good ice time and was serviceable he couldn't fetch a trade that didn't include a salary retention and a future asset for him. You couldn't flip him to Ottawa for a future 7th round pick? That'd be more valuable than getting Brad Morrison.