The Dallas Stars signed defenseman Johnny Oduya in part because of his experience winning two Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks got him back in hopes of going for another.
(Note: the Blackhawks recently confirmed the news.)
Oduya is headed to the Blackhawks in exchange for Mark McNeill and a conditional 2018 fourth-round pick, according to multiple reporters including ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. LeBrun indicates that the fourth-round pick could turn into a third-rounder depending upon Oduya’s playoff performance.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie gets specific about the conditions:
The Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus reports that the Stars are retaining some portion of the veteran defenseman’s salary to make the trade work. LeBrun and McKenzie both report that Dallas is retaining 50 percent of his cap hit/salary.
McNeill, 24, was a first-rounder (18th overall) by Chicago back in 2011. While he’s generated solid offensive numbers in the AHL, he’s only appeared in one NHL game so far for the Blackhawks.
This is the second time Chicago’s acquired Oduya at a trade deadline. He’s seen less ice time than usual this season (18:10 per game), but was carrying the sort of heavy-lifting burden that could help the Blackhawks in their push for a deep run.
Considering how wide-open the West seems – at least compared to previous seasons – Oduya could very well find himself on another significant ride in the postseason.
In less appealing Blackhawks news, the team placed Niklas Hjalmarsson on injured reserve.