Oduya headed elsewhere as Cap continues to cause Hawks roster trim

Johnny Oduya has informed the Blackhawks that he will not be re-signing, per reports. (USATSI)
Johnny Oduya has informed the Blackhawks that he will not be re-signing, per reports. (USATSI)

Another important piece of the Blackhawks‘ last two Stanley Cup titles is on his way out of town. Unrestricted free agent defenseman Johnny Oduya, who won the Cup in 2013 and 2015 with the Blackhawks, confirmed through agent Don Meehan that he will not be returning to the club according to multiple reports.Oduya’s new team is expected to be announced today according to Brian Hedger of NHL.com. It is believed both the Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres were among the teams in pursuit of his services.Oduya had reportedly been waiting to see if the Blackhawks could resolve their salary cap issues to fit him in, despite being among the top defensemen on the free agent market.The 33-year-old blueliner had 10 points in 76 games with the Blackhawks last season while averaging 20:17 per game. He also notched five assists during the team’s Stanley Cup run, while averaging nearly 25 minutes per game, as the Blackhawks dealt with limited defensive depth.Oduya spent parts of four seasons with the Hawks after being traded from the Winnipeg Jets late in the 2011-12 season for a pair of draft picks.A veteran of 664 NHL games, Oduya also spent time with the New Jersey Devils and the Atlanta Thrashers before the team moved to Winnipeg. He has 152 career points and has average top-four minutes throughout his career.The Swedish rearguard joins a long line of players from this year’s Stanley Cup team headed out of town. Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp were both traded away, while Antoine Vermette and Brad Richards left via unrestricted free agency. Additionally, Kimmo Timonen retired. There are other moves expected as well, as Hawks remain in a salary-cap crunch.

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