Chicago Sun-Times

Blackhawks keep Jamal Mayers, Johnny Oduya in the mix

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The Blackhawks didn't wait around for free agency to begin on July 1 this offseason to fill out their roster.

On Tuesday, the Hawks officially announced that Jamal Mayers received a one-year extension. But more important, defenseman Johnny Oduya also got a three-year deal.

General manager Stan Bowman said at the team's season-ending press conference that he planned on re-signing Oduya this summer.

Oduya immensely helped out the Hawks' blue line after being acquired from the Winnipeg Jets at the trade deadline. By giving Oduya a three-year deal, it's very clear that the Hawks have a high opinion of Oduya. Terms are not yet known.

Oduya, 30, was praised for his speed, patience and puck-handling as he often played with youngster Nick Leddy. Oduya was brought in to help the power play, but eventually impressed coach Joel Quenneville enough to get an opportunity on the power play.

Oduya finished with five points in 18 games for the Hawks during the regular season. He had some tougher moments in the playoffs against the Phoenix Coyotes, but did have three assists.

Mayers' re-signing comes as a bit of a surprise, especially considering he was a healthy scratch in the playoffs and that Daniel Carcillo and Andrew Shaw will be in the mix next season.

Mayers, though, was very consistent in the regular season. He had six goals, nine assists and a team-high 91 penalty minutes in 81 games.

Mayers was brought in for his toughness and physical play, getting a one-year deal worth $550,000 last summer. He fulfilled those roles and also handled fourth-line center exceptionally well considering he hadn't handled the middle in some time. He will make $600,000 next season.


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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan. 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. Follow him on Twitter:@adamjahns

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on May 29, 2012 11:33 AM.

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