Detroit Red Wings defenseman Olli Maatta deserves a contract extension

Octopus Thrower

The Detroit Red Wings are pushing along with the 2022-23 season, and they continue to try and keep the wheels from completely falling off the season and taking a step back to examine the team’s roster and what could help the team get into an era of competition.

One of the things that the Detroit Red Wings front office needs to consider is bringing back Olli Maatta. After all, Maatta is just 28 years old and has shown he can provide some solid depth to the team’s defense core. Still, being on the right side of 30 makes him an intriguing addition to the defense core.

Matta was signed to a one-year, $2.25 million contract this summer when General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman brought him in as a part of the team’s offseason acquisitions. Halfway through his season with the Red Wings, it’s worth kicking the tires on bringing him back.

The Red Wings may not have things figured out for the 2023-24 season and beyond, but Yzerman should consider keeping Maatta a part of things. Things could change by trade deadline season, but he seems like a player who could bring value.

Detroit Red Wings should extend Olli Maatta if he’s not traded.

It may be a bit early to talk extensions, but Maatta is worth discussing. Through his first 34 games with the Red Wings, Maatta has scored three goals and added 11 assists for 14 total points.

He’s a ten-year veteran of the NHL and would be a notable boost to the team’s second or third pairing. Even with defensemen in Grand Rapids waiting to make their debuts, the Red Wings should consider Maatta’s value, even if that’s next season.

The trade deadline is the only thing standing in the way of getting Maatta an extension. If Yzerman can flip Maatta for draft capital or any asset for the Red Wings to use down the road, he will likely pull the trigger on the trade.

I do not blame him, either. With the Red Wings pushing themselves into lottery talk rather than playoff talk, shipping off assets to start trying to set things up for 2023-24 and beyond is crucial. Another year of trading assets and being a seller could be on the horizon.

A team that calls up the Red Wings hoping to add a depth defender may benefit from adding Maatta. If the Red Wings can move him, I’d expect them to.

But there has to be a discussion about giving Maatta an extension if he ends up sticking with the team through to the other side of the trade deadline.

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The Red Wings may not have this on the docket for the coming days or weeks, but as the trade deadline nears, Maatta’s future has to start coming into focus.

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