With the Chicago Blackhawks still near the cap after trading Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp, unrestricted free agent Johnny Oduya might ultimately have a new home next season.
Sabres GM Tim Murray has been trying to lure over the 33-year-old defenseman and hasn’t given up as we near the third week of the UFA period.
“He hasn’t signed anywhere yet, so I haven’t moved on,” Murray told the Buffalo News.
He added that he is also looking at other free agents and trade opportunities.
For the record, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman hasn’t ruled out re-signing Oduya. The defenseman, who has been waiting for the team to clear cap space for him, plans to make his decision within the next week, but Chicago would be allowed to go over the ceiling to sign him as long as it finds a way to get back under it in the fall.
If Buffalo is able sign him though, it would provide the team with a veteran leader that has won the Stanley Cup twice and can log around 20 minutes per game.
When the Chicago Blackhawks acquired the 20-year-old Marko Dano he found himself suddenly united with perhaps his ideal mentor.
Dano has plenty of connections to Marian Hossa, from the city they live in (Trencin, Slovakia), to the fact that the elder forward has played internationally with Dano’s father, to their similar style of play.
“But he’s at a different level,” Dano told CSN Chicago. “So I’m trying to catch him with that.”
Hossa should be willing to help him there. He reached out to Dano after the trade and they plan to meet for lunch in the near future.
“He’s a great player,” Dano said. “He’s played so many years here, so there are a lot of things I can learn from him.”
Chicago got Dano from Columbus as part of the Brandon Saad trade. He was taken with the 27th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and had 21 points in 35 contests as a rookie in 2014-15.
He’s participating in prospect camp and will have to earn his spot with Chicago. However, he’s a clear candidate to secure a third line role next season and down the road his duties might expand substantially.
Related: Dano ‘an exciting player’ for Blackhawks
The Predators have one less potential arbitration hearing hanging over their heads.
Nashville announced that it has sent Taylor Beck to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Jamie Devane.
Beck, 24, was taken with the 70th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, but he stepped up after that with back-to-back 90-plus point seasons for the WHL Guelph Storm. From there he honed his game in the minors, scoring 17 goals and 49 points in 65 contests in 2013-14.
Although he enjoyed stints with Nashville prior last season, 2014-15 was his first full campaign at the top level. He was limited to an average of 11:55 minutes per contest though and finished with eight goals and 16 points in 62 games.
He was one of three Nashville restricted free agents that had filed for arbitration, along with Craig Smith and Colin Wilson.
Devane, 24, was selected two picks ahead of Beck back in 2009. Devane had 10 points and 208 penalty minutes in 94 AHL games over the last two seasons. Unlike Beck, Devane is still under contract for one more season on a two-way deal that comes with a $575K cap hit at the NHL level.