Johnny Oduya sported a walking boot on his right foot, a bulky protective cover that nevertheless went unspotted when he first entered the room.
It must have been his beard, which was still in full playoff growth form, throwing everyone off.
“See, that’s smart,” Oduya said to laughs. “That’s why I have it.”
Oduya broke his foot in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final and probably wouldn’t have been able to play if the Blackhawks would have gone to the Stanley Cup Final. Oduya, who said it was broken in the third period when it was hit by a shot – he couldn’t remember who took it – added that the foot is healing fine, and he’ll be ready to go when training camp begins.
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Now, will Oduya be here? The Blackhawks are currently $2-plus million over the salary cap and have to get down to $69 million before the regular season begins. Oduya’s name has been bandied about in trade rumors. The defenseman, who said the Blackhawks haven’t indicated what may happen with him, added that he takes it all in stride.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “I’m very, very happy to be here. This is the place where I really enjoy playing hockey, I’ve loved it here so far and I think I’ll like it in the future, too. If that’s not the case, I’ll go somewhere else.”