The Chicago Blackhawks are reportedly no longer pursuing a resigning of defenseman Johnny Oduya, who helped the club win two Stanley Cups in three seasons. The 33 year old Swedish player stands at 6'0" 190 lbs. which is pretty average sized, even a little on the smaller side compared to the Sabres defense already. However, Oduya has already proven his worth and talent as a serviceable and respected defenseman at the NHL level. Oduya also has something the Sabres could use. A left handed shot from the blue line.
Oduya could be on the move to Buffalo
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GM Tim Murray and Head Coach Dan Bylsma would love the balance that Oduya could allow the Sabres to possess in their top six. Young Rasmus Ristolainen, Zach Bogosian, and Mark Pysyk are all right handed. The Sabres left handed defensemen right now are Josh Gorges, Carlo Colaiacovo, Mike Weber and Jake McCabe. Josh Gorges is a solid player and Jake McCabe showed great promise and an NHL readiness at the Sabres Development Camp this week. However, Colaiacovo has never stayed healthy in the NHL and Mike Weber has never really proven himself as a trustworthy blue liner. The addition of Oduya to the Sabres could allow Colaiacovo and Weber to be in depth roles rather than being forced into a daily starting spot that could prove to be too much for them.
Oduya's numbers have never been great. His best season offensively came in 2008-09 with the New Jersey Devils in which he had 7 goals and 22 assists. Even though his offense has never been great in the regular season, Oduya had been great in the playoffs and has contributed to the Blackhawks cup runs with composure and efficiency at both ends of the ice. He quickly breaks the puck out of his own zone, which is the main reasons for Chicago's success. He also is great at keeping the puck in the offensive zone. Simply put, Oduya can add a lot to the Buffalo Sabres and make them even more of playoff contenders.