Johnny Oduya is now off to play for the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a second and third round pick in 2013. The deal gives the Blackhawks defensive depth that they’ve been looking for and gets Oduya out of Winnipeg where he had become a bit of a whipping boy.
Oduya has lost the form he displayed in New Jersey which made him a key part of the Ilya Kovalchuk trade for the then-Thrashers. Obviously a lot of that has to do with no longer being a part of Jacques Lemaire’s system which can cover a lot of defensive deficiencies, but he is a good player nevertheless. It’s unfortunate that things didn’t work out in Winnipeg better for Oduya but Chicago will be a good place for him to play out the season.
As an impending UFA, Oduya will be put on a lower pair in Chicago than he would have been forced to play in Winnipeg down the stretch. With a favorable pairing on a better team, I wouldn’t be shocked if Oduya slots in nicely in Chicago and makes an impact on their Cup push. Realistically, the guy is playing for a job next year as much as he is a title in 2012 and the Blackhawks could be the perfect place for him to get a good contract and win some games.
Win-win deal for both parties here.