The Chicago Blackhawks have been looking to bolster their defensive depth as they get ready for what hopes to be another extended postseason run.
Chicago accomplished that task just hours before the NHL’s March 1 trading deadline and in doing so will reunite with a member of the 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup championship teams.
The Blackhawks have re-acquired defenseman Johnny Oduya from the Dallas Stars. It was first reported by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. In return, the Blackhawks will send 2011 first-round pick Mark McNeill and a conditional fourth-round pick to Dallas, per LeBrun.
Oduya returns to Chicago after spending the past two seasons in Dallas. Oduya signed a two-year deal with the Stars in 2015 after winning the Cup with Chicago the season prior. He’s scored one goal and tallied seven total points in 37 games during the 2016-17 season after recording 21 points the season prior.
Below is a look at his analytical performance:
Johnny Oduya’s defensive results this season prior to the All-Star Break pic.twitter.com/OXkxFGE1yF
— Ziggy (@Ziggy_14) March 1, 2017
Oduya has had two separate stints on injured reserve this season missing 10 games from Nov. 21 to Dec. 10 with an ankle injury and missed more time after re-aggravating the injury Jan. 17.
Oduya’s health makes this a bit of a risky venture for Chicago, but the good news is they gave up practically nothing for him. McNeill is a complete bust and played only one game with the Blackhawks since being drafted 18th overall.
The salary cap ramifications also aren’t very steep. According to CapFriendly, Oduya’s remaining daily cap hit is only $854,167. The Chicago Tribune’s Christopher Hine adds Dallas will retain half of Oduya’s salary.
This is the second time the Blackhawks have acquired Oduya at the deadline. In 2012, Chicago acquired Oduya from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for second and third-round picks in the 2013 draft.
If Oduya can stay healthy, he could solidify Chicago’s bottom pairing. He also could step in alongside Niklas Hjalmarsson in the top four and rekindle the magic that occurred with the pairing in 2015. It’s another low-risk venture with not as much upside as the Tomas Jurco trade, but doesn’t have much of a downside. This could wind up being a shrewd move by Stan Bowman.