What do you when a team you won a couple titles with decides to trade within its own division to get the piece that replaces you? You hit your old team where it hurts. Today, Johnny Oduya who is coming off a Stanley Cup championship season with the Chicago Blackhawks signed a two-year, $7.5 million free agent deal with the rival Dallas Stars.
The 33-year-old Oduya, who also won a Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013, is a great addition to the Dallas Stars. He was a 7th round draft pick (221st overall) in the 2001 NHL draft and has turned being a far reaching draft pick into a very solid and dependable career. He’s also been a member of the Sweden Olympic team. Oduya will bring a much needed winning pedigree with him to Dallas and also the toughness and legs that can log 18-20 minutes on a nightly basis.
Meanwhile, Dallas is swinging for the fences. They just brought in Patrick Sharp and highly regarded defensive prospect Stephen Johns, now they open up the wallet for Johnny Oduya. This is such a smart move. Dallas has a pretty good developing core of young defenseman but no true vet to hold down the blueline. Now they have that piece that can hopefully correct the problems Dallas has in its own end. And I’m sure Oduya was probably none to psyched to see Chicago pick up Trevor Daley in the Patrick Sharp trade when all along he wanted to remain a Blackhawk. But this is an addition the Stars needed to make and it’ll be interesting seeing how he performs out from under the cover of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Dallas and Chicago games just got a bit more interesting.