The Chicago Blackhawks won the 2015 Stanley Cup, but are losing players left and right in the offseason. Defenseman Johnny Oduya will be one of the players leaving the champion squad as confirmed by his agent, Don Meehen.
ESPN reported the development on Tuesday just days after the Blackhawks traded forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars. Chicago has also lost other players who were part of the champion team that beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals in this offseason.
The Blackhawks traded forward Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets, while centers Brad Richards and Antoine Vermette signed with the Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes, respectively, in free agency. Letting go of Oduya made sense for Chicago, which already has defensemen Trevor van Riemsdyk, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Trevor Daley, Niklas Hjalmarsson and David Rundblad in the roster.
According to an NHL.com report, teams targeting Oduya, who is an unrestricted free agent, include the Dallas Stars, Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets. According to the same report, the Blackhawks are trying to move under the salary cap, which is valued at $71.4 million for 2015-2016.