#4: Buyout Olli Maatta
Despite being the defenseman with the highest point total in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Olli Maatta has become a defensive liability for Chicago. His skating ability is very poor, and this leads to opposing teams getting very high quality scoring chances. See this example of the opening goal in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, when Connor McDavid calmly skated around Maatta and calmly lifted a backhand into the top shelf:
Maatta currently has a cap hit of $4,083,333 for the next three seasons. As I mentioned earlier, the Blackhawks already have a ton of defensive prospects in the system. Ian Mitchell has signed his entry deal, and Nicolas Beaudin also has looked to be pretty good in the few games he has played with the Blackhawks.
Chicago is already at the Salary Cap ceiling once again, and if they want to be able to resign Kubalik and potentially Strome as well, the cap space has to come from somewhere. If the Blackhawks did choose to buyout Maatta’s contract, it would save roughly $3,402,733 in cap space for the next two seasons for the Blackhawks.
The Hawks would have to pay right around $680,000 for the next 4 seasons to make it happen. Over the remaining course of his contract, choosing to buy out Maatta would save the Blackhawks a total of $5,444,533 against the cap, which would help Chicago out a ton.