-- After catching a red-eye flight from Winnipeg on Tuesday morning, Chicago Blackhawks
defenseman Johnny Oduya
was on the ice for practice with his new team in the Windy City.
The 30-year-old native of Stockholm, who the Hawks acquired from the Winnipeg Jets
on Monday for a pair of 2013 fourth-round draft picks, said it was good just to get back on the ice.
"Anytime you have a team this good and they want to bring you in to see if there's a fit for you and you can help out, you appreciate it. I feel fortunate coming in here." -- Johnny Oduya
"It was a nice skate, nice to just move around a little bit," said Oduya, who was paired with Brent Seabrook
. "I didn't do too much (Monday), so it was all right. (I was) up early this morning to get here, but feel pretty good."
He looked pretty good, too, considering.
Oduya's skating ability -- which was lauded by Chicago general manager Stan Bowman on Monday -- was noticeable right away in offensive and defensive drills.
The Hawks had a void for a player with Oduya's skill set after they traded speedy, puck-moving defenseman Brian Campbell
last summer to help create salary-cap space. Bowman also chose not to re-sign last season's trade deadline acquisition, Chris Campoli
-- another skilled puck-mover.