On Sunday, the Blackhawks freed up $3.25 million of cap space by trading defenseman Olli Maatta to the LA Kings for forward prospect Brad Morrison.
The Hawks are only retaining $750,108 of Maatta's $4,083,333 cap hit which runs through 2021-22. The 26-year-old blueliner was a buyout candidate for the Hawks and the move came five days before free agency opens up.
Chicago reportedly started negotiations with unrestricted free agent goalie Corey Crawford a few weeks ago and has several restricted free agents to consider signing such as Dominik Kubalik, Dylan Strome, Drake Caggiula and Slater Koekkoek.
Maatta struggled during the regular season with the Hawks, but shined in the postseason, recording six points (3G, 3A) in nine contests. He came to the Blackhawks in a trade that sent forward Dominik Kahun to the Pittsburgh Penguins in June of 2019.
Morrison’s contract has a cap hit of $743,333 and he's signed through the 2020-21 season.
The 23-year-old forward was originally selected in the fourth round (113th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers. This past season he skated in 17 games for the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL, recording 19 points (6G, 13A).