Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford had a relatively difficult decision to make.
With little cap room to spare and too many defensemen on the roster, he had to move one of his blue-liners. The decision came down to Jack Johnson and Olli Maatta. The latter was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks over the weekend for Dominik Kahun and a fifth-round pick.
"When we looked at moving a defenseman, it was either going to be Johnson or Maatta to open up the necessary cap space, and open up the logjam at defense," Rutherford said on The Cook and Joe Show on Monday. "As it turned out it ended up being Olli who had the bigger cap hit."
Maatta, 24, is signed through the 2021-22 season at a $4.083-million cap hit, while Johnson, 32, is inked through the 2022-23 campaign at a $3.25-million cap hit.
The Pens have six defensemen signed for next season, and Marcus Pettersson, who was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks last season, is a restricted free agent.