Olli Maatta spoke with LA Kings media after Day 2 of training camp. He likes the team’s chances of making the playoffs.
Arguably the biggest priority this offseason, the LA Kings acquired left-shot defenseman Olli Maatta from the Chicago Blackhawks to give Drew Doughty a legitimate partner on the team’s top pairing. He was the first to speak with LA Kings media following Day 2 of training camp.
(some quotes have been revised for clarity and conciseness)
On playing with Drew Doughty and expectations for the 2021 season
Yeah, we skated a lot actually last summer. He’s obviously a guy that I always loved to watch play. And it was awesome. We would skate together in the summer, so you could actually see what he does on the ice.
So I think it’s awesome to be playing with him now and obviously, I’m just excited. I think it’s a great opportunity for myself, and I think, especially looking at the guys we have, we have a lot of established older guys, who know how to win.
I think the younger guys are looking really good, they’re hungry. I think they’re pushing everybody to get better. Everybody’s fighting for the spots right now. And I think when the season starts, I think we’re going to be ready.
On the roster having very few veteran players and connecting with younger players
Well, I think the thing is we all have the same goal here. We want to win, so that’s what we’re working towards. And I think when we have something you working towards together, that obviously brings everybody closer. I think the guys here — at least the three weeks that I’ve been in LA now — I think the guys are awesome. They take you in.
They welcome you really well. They’re all awesome guys. And it’s easy to come into a team like this. And the younger guys and the older guys are mixing pretty well together.
On being traded from the Chicago Blackhawks to the LA Kings
I was excited. I knew the Kings have been through a rebuild the last couple of years and they haven’t been awesome. They’ve been tough years. Nobody’s happy. It’s not easy to do that. But I think that we’re definitely on the other side of it. I think looking at the guys we have, we have a lot of good players here.
The older guys here, who, obviously, are still great players. We have young guys who are really, really good. And I, especially these last two scrimmages, you can see how hungry everybody is just to get back at it.