Chicago cleared $3.3 million in salary cap space with the move, and will retain $750,108 of Maatta’s $4,083,333 salary for the next two seasons to not have his contract on the books for 2022-23 and 2023-24. The move also opens up a roster spot on the left side for a prospect in Nicolas Beaudin or Lucas Carlsson.
Morrison has one year remaining on his contract with a $743,333 salary cap hit.
Maatta scored 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 65 regular-season games then led all Blackhawks blue liners with three goals and six points in nine postseason games in his first season with Chicago since being acquired in June 2019. The Blackhawks acquired Maatta from the Penguins in exchange for forward Dominik Kahun and a fifth-round pick in 2019. Chicago previously acquired the pick and Slater Koekkoek from the Lightning for Jan Rutta and a 2019 seventh-round pick in January 2019.
Morrison, a 2015 fourth-round pick by the Rangers, scored 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 17 games this past season for the Fort Wayne Komets in the ECHL. The 23-year-old had 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 50 AHL games for the Ontario Reign during the 2018-19 season.
Prior to the AHL, Morrison scored 262 points (112 goals, 150 assists) in 334 regular-season games and 48 points (19 goals, 29 assists) in 27 playoff games for Lethbridge, Vancouver and Prince George in the WHL.
The Blackhawks have $11.1 million in cap space with 16 players signed through the 2020-21 season. Chicago has five restricted free agents (forwards Drake Caggiula, Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome, Koekkoek and goaltender Malcolm Subban) and unrestricted free agent goaltender Corey Crawford. Free agency begins next Friday, Oct. 9.