Johnny Oduya is still waiting for the Blackhawks to clear enough cap space to re-sign him, according to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.
But the ‘Hawks may have to clear it soon, because Oduya won’t wait forever.
ESPN’s Craig Custance reported on July 1 that the 33-year-old defenseman was “sitting on a very good offer.”
Presumably that “very good offer” wasn’t from Chicago; otherwise, he would’ve signed it.
“We would like to try to bring him back,” GM Stan Bowman said of Oduya, per CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers. “We have financial hurdles we’re working through.”
Even though the Blackhawks traded Brandon Saad, they added Artem Anisimov’s $3.3 million cap hit for next season, and they still haven’t dealt Patrick Sharp, Bryan Bickell, or any of the other players rumored to be out the door.
The ‘Hawks have five NHL defenseman under contract for 2015-16 — Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, David Rundblad, and Trevor van Riemsdyk.
If they can’t re-sign Oduya, they could either look elsewhere for a cheaper free agent, or commit to giving roster spots to youngsters like Stephen Johns and Ville Pokka.
Related: UFA of the Day: Johnny Oduya