Traded to the Blackhawks in February 2012 for a second and third-round pick, Johnny Oduya became an essential member of the team’s defense. The move seemed odd with Oduya posting Corsi-for percentages of 43.2%, 46.5%, and 48.5% in his two-and-a-half seasons before joining the ‘Hawks.
But upon wearing the Blackhawks sweater, Oduya became a reliable defenseman in front of Corey Crawford. His possession numbers improved to 52%, 54.4%, 53.1%, and 51.5% in his three-and-a-half years with the ‘Hawks. He averaged over 20 minutes on ice every night, missing only 11 games during the stretch. Of course, he was also a huge piece of the 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup Championships. In particular, the second championship run saw Oduya playing 24:45 a night, being one of only four defenseman that were playing the majority of the games for the team.
After winning his second Cup, Oduya signed with the Dallas Stars, re-joining Patrick Sharp further South. Much like Patrick Sharp’s time in Dallas, Oduya had a solid first year with the successful Stars, but injuries and age slowed him down to start his second year.
With the Stars out of the playoff hunt, the team swung a deal with the Blackhawks, bringing Oduya back to the Windy City in exchange for never-to-be-called-up prospect Mark McNeill and a fourth-round pick.
While fans remembering Oduya’s days previously in Chicago were excited about his return, the fact was Oduya was a different player. A little older and a little slower, Oduya was a minus-2 and a 45.1% Corsi-for in his 15 regular season games back with the team. In the postseason, he was much slower than the speedy Predators (see also Campbell, Brian) and was a minus-3 in the four game sweep. Of course, no one on the team had a positive plus/minus in that disastrous series, but Oduya showed he was no longer the player that had previously held the Stanley Cup over his head twice. He currently remains a free agent and his future playing career is a bit up in the air.