Dallas Stars

Oduya won’t be back with Blackhawks: agent

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He wanted to stay, and they wanted to keep him.

Reality got in the way.

Per CSN Chicago, unrestricted free agent Johnny Oduya will not be back with the Chicago Blackhawks. The agent for the 33-year-old defenseman confirmed it Tuesday.

Oduya’s time in Chicago was all but officially ended when the ‘Hawks acquired veteran defender Trevor Daley from the Dallas Stars in the Patrick Sharp trade. With GM Stan Bowman unable to shed Bryan Bickell’s cap hit, and with RFA forward Marcus Kruger in need of a new deal, well, at least Oduya went out on a high note.

“We know the reality. This is what it is,” he said prior to the Stanley Cup Final. “You’ve got to take care of the time you have in front of you.”

Buffalo and Dallas are considered among the favorites to sign Oduya. His decision is expected to be made today.

Report: Stars among teams courting Oduya

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From Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News:

Everyone knows that Johnny Oduya’s first choice is to remain with the Chicago Blackhawks. But the 33-year-old defenseman can’t wait around forever for GM Stan Bowman to clear the cap space.

If it’s not the ‘Hawks, the Stars — with a young, inexperienced defense that doesn’t have veteran Trevor Daley anymore — may make sense. Dallas has a ton of talent up front, and after GM Jim Nill signed Antti Niemi to address the goaltending, the blue line is the one area that could perhaps be improved.

The Buffalo Sabres are another team that’s interested in signing Oduya. There are undoubtedly a few others.

For those teams that lose out on Oduya, other UFA d-men include Cody Franson and Christian Ehrhoff.

Related: Ehrhoff will take another one-year contract

Hemsky stands as interesting wild card for the Stars

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The beauty of adding a player like Patrick Sharp is that, theoretically, it could make life easier for other Dallas Stars. Imagine, then, if Ales Hemsky sheds the “free agent bust” label in 2015-16?

Line combinations are subject to significant change, yet it’s plausible that Dallas will sport a second line featuring Hemsky and Sharp on the wings and Jason Spezza at center.

That’s a pretty tantalizing thought for some Stars fans:

The biggest question might just be if the 31-year-old can really stick with Sharp and Spezza (assuming first, of course, that there aren’t any other big moves coming for Dallas).

Hemsky was frequently a diamond in the rough for the Edmonton Oilers, at least when he managed to play. These days, things really have just been rough, though.

As much as injuries and other bits of bad luck factor in, one cannot help but wonder if Hemsky is already past the point where he can turn things around. He was limited to 32 points in his Dallas debut, and he’s only enjoyed one 40+ point season (43 in 2013-14) since 2011-12. When does benefit of the doubt run out?

He stands as one of those summer conundrums. On paper, with those linemates, he could stand as a pivotal player. On the other hand, Hemsky could just as easily be lost in the shuffle … again.

Bowman on Oduya returning: ‘It’s still sort of a fluid situation’

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With the Blackhawks acquiring veteran defenseman Trevor Daley from the Dallas Stars in the Patrick Sharp trade, it appears Johnny Oduya’s days in Chicago are over.

According to the sources of Adrian Dater from Bleacher Report, the Blackhawks will not retain Oduya.

During a conference call to discuss the Sharp deal on Friday night, Hawks GM Stan Bowman didn’t close the door on Oduya re-signing in Chicago.

“I’m not going to rule anything out or in,” said Bowman per CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers. “It’s still sort of a fluid situation.”

On Friday afternoon, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Oduya plans to make a decision on his future next week. The 33-year-old has been waiting for the Blackhawks to clear cap space in order to re-sign in Chicago.

Oduya has spent parts of four seasons with the Blackhawks winning two Stanley Cups.

His three-year, $10.1 million deal expired on July 1 making him an unrestricted free agent.

Change of Heart: Stars acquire Sharp from Blackhawks

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Just prior to last month’s NHL Draft, a Dallas Stars official told The Dallas Morning News that Patrick Sharp was “not what we need right now.”

That was then.

On Friday, Dallas acquired Sharp along with defenseman Stephen Johns from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt.

Prior to the trade, the Blackhawks were $718,460 over the cap for next season.

Sharp, who was a member of all three of Chicago’s Stanley Cup wins, has two years remaining on his existing deal with a $5.9 million cap hit.

“On behalf of the entire Blackhawks organization, I’d like to thank Patrick for all that he helped our franchise accomplish during his time in Chicago, especially serving an integral role in bringing us three Stanley Cup championships,” said Hawks’ GM Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He was one of our leaders on the ice, most notably as an alternate captain for several seasons, as well as off the ice with his countless contributions and volunteer work with team partners, sponsors and Blackhawks fans everywhere.

“He will forever be a Blackhawk and we wish him and his family nothing but the best in Dallas and beyond.”

Johns, 23, has yet to make his NHL debut.

The 6-foot-4, 233-pound blue liner registered a career-high four goals and 21 points in 51 AHL games with the Rockford IceHogs last season.

“Stephen adds to the corps of young defensemen that we have coming up in our system,” said Stars’ GM Jim Nill. “He brings an element of size and physicality to our mix and we look forward to him coming in and competing.”

Garbutt has spent parts of the past four seasons in Dallas. The 29-year-old scored eight goals and 25 points in 67 games last season.

Daley has two years left on his deal with a $3.3 million cap hit. The 31-year-old scored 16 goals and 38 points to go along with a minus-13 rating in 68 games last season.

“We want to thank both Trevor and Ryan for their contributions to the Dallas Stars,” said Nill. “Trevor has been an important piece of the Stars organization for many years and we could not be more grateful to him. The strong leadership he displayed both in the locker room and in the North Texas community has created a lasting impact on everyone around him. We wish them both the best.”

Related: Toews admits Chicago’s cap crunch feels ‘a lot like 2010′