A few years ago, it was noted the 29-year-old was dealing with two mortgages, so this could be a nice break for Beagle. It’s not so bad for Washington, either, as they get a solid “energy guy” for a perfectly reasonable price.
Johnny Oduya isn’t going to wait for the Chicago Blackhawks to sort out their cap issues, instead electing to hit free agency without hesitation, according to ESPN Chicago.
That same report indicates that Oduya, 33, has already received inquiries from “several” teams.
A couple days ago, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman indeed indicated that it might take some time for Chicago to figure out what they can do (and what free agents like Oduya and Brad Richards want), as CSNChicago.com noted.
“They need to decide where they’re going to go dollar-wise, and we need to figure out what we can possibly offer,” Bowman said.
This might be frustrating for Blackhawks fans, especially in the case of Oduya, who obviously served a big purpose in Chicago’s Stanley Cup run (which required grinding work by its top-four defense). At the same time, it’s clear that the Blackhawks are already in a significant cap crunch thanks in part to raises for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, so challenges are ahead.
One can imagine Oduya’s agent merely filling his “resume” with photos of the defenseman raising the Stanley Cup, but his value extends beyond that.
Oduya didn’t generate a ton of points (10 during the regular season), yet his time on ice numbers will be a significant selling point, as he saw his ice time jump to 24:45 minutes per postseason contest. You can read more about his situation here, but simply enough, there aren’t many experienced (and still fairly young) blueliners on the market who are on par with him.
All things considered, Oduya is almost certainly out of Chicago’s price range, and it doesn’t sound like either side is really denying that.
Buyouts loom as Richards, Parenteau and Fistric clear unconditional waivers
Significant buyouts appear to be mere formalities after Mike Richards (Los Angeles Kings), P.A. Parenteau (Montreal Canadiens) and Mark Fistric (Anaheim Ducks) cleared unconditional waivers on Monday. That word comes from a variety of sources, including TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
“I would like to thank Pierre-Alexandre for his time as a Montreal Canadien and wish him the best with his career,” Bergevin said. “It was a difficult decision to make, but we feel it gives us more flexibility as we continue to improve our club and provide our young prospects with an opportunity to earn a spot on our roster.”
The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to do some lower-level housecleaning, as they signed forward Mike Blunden to a one-year, two-way contract on Monday.
There’s no word on the exact money involved at either the AHL or NHL level.
That’s especially relevant with Blunden, 28, as he’s likely to face an uphill battle to log many games with the Bolts. He managed to play in two games for Tampa Bay in 2014-15, and he’s seen 104 NHL games scattered throughout his career since first appearing with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2006-07.
(The Blackhawks selected him in the second round – 43rd overall – in 2005.)
The one thing that stands out about Blunden is his size, as he’s listed at 6-foot-4, 216 lbs. With eight points in those 104 NHL regular season contests, his ceiling doesn’t seem too high, but it rarely hurts to add a big body as insurance in case injuries pile up.
The Lightning also locked down Jonathan Marchessault and Brian Hart on Sunday, so the Bolts are crossing off names from their to-do list lately.
They’ve also handed out qualifying offers:
#tblightning announce QOs issued to Carter Ashton, Vladislav Namestnikov, Philippe Paridis, Andjrej Sust and Luke Witkowski
Without knowing about skating ability, if someone asked you which NFL player’s style would make the most sense as a hockey player, Houston Texas defensive dynamo (OK, lineman) J.J. Watt might just be the first name that comes to mind.