Johnny Oduya back with Blackhawks in deadline deal

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Greg Wyshynski
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Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has shown a propensity for bringing back former Blackhawks.

There was the Andrew Ladd deal last season. There was the Brian Campbell signing last summer. And now, as the 2017 NHL trade deadline approaches, the Blackhawks have brought back defenseman Johnny Oduya.

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The Blackhawks sent forward Mark McNeill and a conditional fourth-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft to the Dallas stars for Oduya, a pending unrestricted free agent. If Chicago should advance to third round of the playoffs this season, and Oduya plays in 50-percent or more in first two rounds, then the selection turns into Chicago’s third-round pick in 2018.

Dallas retained 50-percent of Oduya’s salary in order for the trade to happen. McNeill, 24, has posted 28 points in 58 games played for Rockford of the AHL.

Oduya signed with the Stars in 2015 after winning two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks. The 35-year-old defenseman has seven points in 37 regular season games this season, one that saw him injured for a portion of it.

Oduya played parts of four seasons and 219 games with the Blackhawks, mostly as the partner of Niklas Hjalmarsson. While age has crept up on him, he’s still a solid addition to a group that could use a steady hand, given the inconsistency of players like Michal Kempny, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Campbell.

If nothing else, the Hawks just gained a glorious playoff beard.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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