Johnny Oduya is headed to the Eastern Conference.
The 35-year-old defenseman signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Ottawa Senators. The contract could be worth up to $1.25 million with incentives.
Oduya, who the Blackhawks re-acquired prior to the trade deadline last season from the Dallas Stars, finished with two goals and seven assists in 52 games between the two teams.
It comes to no one's surprise that the Blackhawks didn't re-sign the veteran defenseman.
After being swept in the first round of the playoffs last season by the Nashville Predators, Stan Bowman has made it clear the Blackhawks are headed in a different direction, and their offseason has been plenty of busy so far. Headline deals included trading Oduya's linemate Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for 24-year-old defenseman Connor Murphy and re-acquiring Brandon Saad from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Artemi Panarin.
Oduya heads to a Senators team which got ousted in the Eastern Conference Final in seven games to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Patrick Kane is among the Hart Trophy candidates for the 2017-18 season, but what are his early odds to reclaim the title?
The 28-year-old Blackhawks star followed up an 106-point campaign in which he became the first American-born player to win the Art Ross and Hart Trophy by finishing tied for second in the NHL with 89 points last season.
But he's facing some tougher odds going into this year.
Bovada revelead Wednesday that Connor McDavid is the front-runner to repeat at 3/2 odds, followed by Sidney Crosby (5/2), Auston Matthews (17/2) and Alex Ovechkin (9/1). Kane ranks fifth at 14/1.
Here's the rest of the list:
- Vladimir Tarasenko: 15/1
- Evgeni Malkin: 16/1
- Carey Price, John Tavares: 20/1
- Jamie Benn, Steven Stamkos: 25/1
- Erik Karlsson, Nikita Kucherov: 33/1
- Jack Eichel, Ryan Getzlaf, Patrik Laine, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin: 50/1
- Nicklas Backstrom, Brent Burns, Braden Holtby, Phil Kessel, Artemi Panarin, Joe Pavelski: 60/1
A couple solid value picks would be Karlsson at 33/1 and Burns at 60/1, both of whom made strong cases to be in that conversation last year as defensemen.
You'll also notice Panarin as a darkhorse candidate. It will be interesting to see how Kane and Panarin fare without each other in the prime of their careers. Who knows, maybe they'll be sharing the stage together as finalists in Las Vegas next June.
On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Bryan Bickell sits down with Pat Boyle and they discuss the retired player's journey to the NHL, which included being an Ottawa clubhouse assistant where he met future teammate, Marian Hossa.
Bickell admits when he finally knew he was a regular in the NHL, his incredible 2013 postseason performance and the historic 17 seconds in Boston.
Finally, Bryan gets emotional when discussing his MS diagnosis, his shootout goal in his final NHL game, and how his wife Amanda has been at his side throughout his entire hockey career.
Listen to the Hawks Talk Podcast below: