Johnny Oduya Traded to Chicago Blackhawks

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DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 26: Dallas Stars Defenceman Johnny Oduya (47) handles the puck during the NHL hockey game between the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars on February 26, 2017, at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. (Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Dallas Stars, faced with the daunting task of turning their season around, have seemingly given up on their dream of qualifying for the playoffs and have traded top blue liner Johnny Oduya to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Stars will get Mark McNeill, and a conditional fourth round pick. The Stars will also retain 50% of Oduya’s salary.

Johnny Oduya Traded to Chicago Blackhawks

Oduya’s play, much like the rest of the Stars’ defenders, has been largely inconsistent this season. The 35-year old Swede has missed significant time this season dealing with a multitude of injuries and rehabilitation setbacks.

Oduya is in the final year of a two year contract that comes with a $3.75 million cap hit per season and, barring an unlikely extension, he will likely enter free-agency this summer. While Oduya played admirably alongside fellow Swede John Klingberg last season, the duo was mostly unable to replicate their success this season. Oduya’s seven points in 37 games this season is a reflection of this.

It is expected that the two-time Stanley Cup champion will provide veteran leadership and some blue line stability with his new club. He’ll be called upon to reprise his former role in Chicago down the stretch and into the playoffs.

This was the second season in Dallas for Oduya, and is his tenth season in the NHL. Oduya previously played with the New Jersey Devils, Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets, and Chicago Blackhawks before he arrived in Dallas. Oduya was taken in the seventh round, 221st overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils.

McNeill, 24, was the Blackhawks first round pick, 18th overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft. He has spent most of this season with the Rockford Ice Hogs of the AHL, scoring six goals and 28 points in 56 games. He played one NHL game in 2015-16.

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