Patrick Sharp will see a familiar face at training camp.
Unrestricted free agent Johnny Oduya signed a two-year, $7.5-million contract with the Dallas Stars Wednesday, the club announced.
The former Chicago Blackhawks defenceman spent two weeks on the open market and reportedly fielded offers from the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets as well as Dallas.
“Johnny is a steady, veteran presence on the blueline and he’ll complement our group nicely,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a press release.
“He has achieved a great deal of success, winning the Stanley Cup twice, and his championship mentality will be valuable in our room.”
Watch: Jim Nill explains why he signed Oduya
The Oduya signing comes five days after Nill acquired Chicago winger Sharp and lost veteran D-man Trevor Daley via trade.
Oduya’s average annual value of $3.75 million signifies a modest raise from the $3.375 million salary cap hit he carried with Chicago.
The stay-at-home blueliner won a second Cup ring with Chicago as an integral component of the champions’ top four.
Despite deploying the second-best offence in the NHL, the Stars failed to make the playoffs in 2014-15. Oduya’s responsibility on the back end should help a young defence group that ranked 26th in goals against.
Oduya, 33, scored 10 points in 76 regular-season games in 2014-15 and added another five assists in the Blackhawks’ playoff run.
He finished the season third on the team with 123 blocked shots and his 20:17 of average time on ice per game ranked fourth.
“I had a chance to go to a top contender,” Oduya told us last month of his success in Chicago. “You try to do your best—fit in and find a place where you can use your skills and talent to benefit the team, and it worked out better than I thought.”
An nine-year NHL veteran, the Stockholm native has appeared in 664 career regular-season games, posting 152 career points for New Jersey, Atlanta/Winnipeg and Chicago.
The 6-foot, 188-pound Oduya was originally selected by Washington in the seventh round (221st overall) of the 2001 NHL Draft.
July 15, 2015