Johnny Oduya is headed to the Eastern Conference. The 35-year-old defenseman signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Ottawa Senators. The contract could be worth up to $1.25 million with incentives. Oduya, who the Blackhawks re-acquired prior to the trade deadline last season from the Dallas Stars, finished with two goals and seven assists in 52 games between the two teams. It comes to no one's surprise that the Blackhawks didn't re-sign the veteran defenseman. After being swept in the first round of the playoffs last season by the Nashville Predators, Stan Bowman has made it clear the Blackhawks are headed in a different direction, and their offseason has been plenty of busy so far. Headline
The New York Rangers knew what center Mika Zibanejad wanted. Heading into an arbitration hearing scheduled for Tuesday, the 24-year-old was asking for one year at $5.35 million. No, to get that annual value on that deal, the Rangers wanted Zibanejad locked down for a bit.
For almost a decade, Niklas Hjalmarsson was a mainstay on the Blackhawks’ back end, quietly providing some of the most effective defense in the league. In addition to Hjalmarsson, the ‘Hawks also bid adieu to Brian Campbell, Johnny Oduya, and Trevor van Riemsdyk this offseason. “We’re going to see when we’re putting the pairs together, whether we’re going to reunite [Duncan Keith] and [Brent Seabrook] or look for some balance,” head coach Joel Quenneville said, per CSN Chicago.