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Red Wings, Olli Maatta Agree on Two-Year Contract Extension

The Red Wings lock up a steady defender with plenty of experience to keep pushing a young roster forward.

The Red Wings have locked up a steady veteran for the next two seasons.

The club announced on Thursday that they have signed defenseman Olli Maatta to a two-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $3 million. Maatta is in his first season with the Red Wings following stints with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, and Los Angeles Kings.

Known more for his steady defensive presence, Maatta has five goals and 17 points in 49 games on the season. The Finland native has played 583 career regular-season NHL games, notching 35 goals and 118 points in that time.

Maatta ranks second among Red Wings defenders with a 47.01% Corsi For% at five-on-five this season, although his 44.3% expected goals for percentage at five-on-five ranks fourth among Red Wings blueliners.

He is now scheduled to hit free agency after the 2024-25 campaign ahead of his age-31 season.

No Updates on Larkin, Bertuzzi

If you told Red Wings fans a player would be signed to an extension today, Maatta would not have been the first player on their wish list. Indeed, pending unrestricted free agent and team captain Dylan Larkin is still without an extension, and word around the situation is mum.

It’s almost impossible to envision Larkin wearing a jersey not featuring the winged wheel as he’s literally spent his entire life playing hockey in Michigan. Larkin played minor hockey in Michigan before joining the United States National team for two seasons. He spent one year at the University of Michigan and played for the local Grand Rapids Griffins following his college season for six postseason games. He’s now in his eighth season with the Red Wings after they took him with the 15th overall pick of the 2014 NHL draft.

Another pending UFA, winger Tyler Bertuzzi could also be on the move prior to the March 3 NHL trade deadline. The power forward’s season has been marred by a pair of hand injuries and he’s struggled to produce when healthy, tallying just two goals and eight points in 22 games. Bertuzzi enjoyed a career year that saw him notch 30 goals and 62 points across 68 games a season ago.

It would be devastating for the Wings if they failed to retain two first-line players and the heart and soul of their club. After years of finishing at or near the league’s basement, they currently sit just four points out of the final Wild Card spot in the east but have three games in hand on the Washington Capitals. The biggest problem is they are just one of four teams within a four-point range of a postseason spot.

Plenty of eyes will be on Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman as he looks to continue his club’s ascension in the hockey-mad city of Detroit.

Next: Kings Sign Mikey Anderson to Long-Term Extension

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