Chicago Sun-Times

Blackhawks acquire defenseman Johnny Oduya from Jets; trade enforcer John Scott to Rangers

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The Blackhawks were in desperate need of a defenseman, especially with Steve Montador and Niklas Hjalmarsson battling injuries. The market was thin but general manager Stan Bowman grabbed one in veteran Johnny Oduya.

The Hawks acquired Oduya from the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. The Jets are run by GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, who was Bowman's assistant previously with the Hawks. The Hawks sent the Jets second- and third-round picks in 2013.

The Hawks are yet to officially announce the move, pending a trade call with the NHL. The Jets claimed Grant Clitsome, formerly of the Columbus Blue Jackets, off waivers earlier Monday.

Defenseman/enforcer John Scott was shipped to the New York Rangers in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2012.

Oduya, 30, has two goals,13 points and a minus-9 rating in 63 games this season for the Jets. He's a defensive-minded blue-liner who began his career with the New Jersey Devils. He's in the final year of a three-year deal carrying a $3.5 million cap hit.

"My initial is, for sure, excitement," Oduya said. "It's a [Stanley] Cup contender I would say every year, a very good team. It's a great place to play, a great city. Their crowds are great. It's a tough arena for opponents to come in and play."

Oduya brings experience to a Hawks' blue line that was relying too much on 20-year-old Nick Leddy and 21-year-old Dylan Olsen this season. He shouldn't be expected to improve the Hawks' inept power play. But Oduya should help on the penalty kill. He's averaging more than two minutes per game this season on the PK. Oduya averaged just over 19 minutes per game with the Jets, the fifth-most among their defensemen.

"One correct defenseman can put everybody else in the right spot," former NHL coach Marc Crawford told the Sun-Times recently. "It doesn't mean that Leddy has to play an exorbitant amount. It doesn't put as much strain on [Duncan] Keith or [Brent] Seabrook. [Niklas] Hjalmarsson can be what he is instead of a guy who has to manufacture more."

Scott played in 29 games this season, averaging less than seven minutes per game. Scott was considered a favorite of coach Joel Quenneville's. The Hawks often said they liked having him in the lineup for the protection he provided, but his low minutes often became the angst of Hawks fans. Scott will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

"Best of luck to the big man in NYC #willbemissed," Hawks forward Viktor Stalberg tweeted Monday.

"Best of luck to the big man in the Big Apple! #greatguygreatwit," Hawks tough guy Jamal Mayers also tweeted.

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7 Comments

Stan Bowman if he wasnt on the hot seat in Chicago before now he is >>> he is wrecking this team by the minute !!!

Oduya isn't a bad player, but I'm majorly disappointed that this is the only move we made @ the deadline. This guy is a 5 or 6 D-man and I doubt he can help on the PK considering our extremely passive system - it's not his style. Good luck though and welcome to Chicago.

The fifth most minutes for defensemen on the Jets? Major move, Stan, major.

Headline..... Hawks lose again..... Bowman and Q need to go.....!

The only thing Dale Tallon did wrong when he was the Blackhawks GM was mismanage the checkbook. Look at how much the Florida Panthers have improved since Tallon has become their GM. If Scotty Bowman weren't the Blackhawks "Senior Advisor", Stan Bowman wouldn't have a job. Bring back Dale Tallon.

The 23 man Active roster limit expires from the Trade Deadline to the end of the regular season. Scott did NOT have to be traded to free up a roster spot.

With NO roster limit you can have a second D-man and a second forward in the press box. So Scott's "versatility" was no longer needed.

And I'm not sure what people were expecting Bowman to do here. Hawks didn't want to give up their 1st round pick which is a very "Theo Epstein" approach to being a GM. In that light, Oduya for a 2nd and 3rd is pretty much what you were looking at...

Stan Bowman, You've got to be kidding me!!!

Just what the Hawks need is another minus defencemen to shore up the blue line!
and giving up a 2nd and a third round pick. (Another Stalberg for Verstegg) Great!

Then trade John Scott for a 5th round pick! You basically gave up on the guy.

Bowman, Did you and Kenny Williams go to the School on how to wreck a team
From Champs to Chumps in two years or less.

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on February 27, 2012 1:06 PM.

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