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BLOG: Burish believes Maatta can mentor young defensemen

BHTV's Adam Burish is excited by recently acquired Olli Maatta's experience and championship pedigree

by Austin Siegel /

Ask BHTV's Adam Burish, and the Blackhawks first big move of the offseason was about acquiring one of hockey's most valuable commodities: an established, top-four defenseman.

"Hard to find and hard to trade for," Burish said. "The draft is tough because they're just 18-year-old kids. How are they going to fit in your lineup? If you can get a guy that's experienced, a guy that's won not one, but two Stanley Cups, it's a home run. If I'm a Blackhawks fan, I'm thinking this is a guy that we've been looking for."

Video: Burish discusses new D-man Olli Maatta

With Saturday's trade bringing Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta to Chicago in exchange for Dominik Kahun and a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks bolstered their back line with the offseason less than a week old. 

Burish said he believes Maatta will be a difference maker on the penalty kill, as the Blackhawks look to shore up their special teams in the 2019-20 season. 

"The penalty kill was something that struggled for the Blackhawks this year. To me, it was a little bit of that desperation and that contagious attitude of guys flying out, blocking shots and getting in the way," Burish said. "Olli Maatta's done that for six years in the NHL."

Maatta was third on the Penguins in blocked shots a season ago (116) and logged 97 hits during the 2018-19 season. The 24-year-old Maatta has skated in 69 career postseason games, after Pittsburgh selected the Finn with the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. 

Burish hopes Maatta can relate to the talented young players in Chicago's locker room, while also commanding the respect of veterans with his two Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh. 

"You've got your young guys and your young defensemen that want somebody close to their age to look up to and to be a mentor," Burish said. "What a perfect guy to do that in Olli Maatta."

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