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Johnny Oduya going back to Blackhawks

Defenseman traded by Stars for minor leaguer, pick

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Defenseman Johnny Oduya was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by the Dallas Stars on Tuesday for minor league forward Mark McNeill and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Oduya won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015. He signed with the Stars as a free agent two offseasons ago.

Oduya, 35, is in the final season of that two-year, $7.5 million contract (average annual value of $3.75 million), according to CapFriendly.com. The contract had a modified no-trade clause.

"Well, Johnny's an [unrestricted free agent], and with the situation of our team I think it's important for us to get the most assets we can," Dallas general manager Jim Nill said. "Johnny's been a great warrior for us the year and a half he's been here. It gives him an opportunity to go to Chicago. They're in the playoffs, and for us, it gave us some assets for down the road."

Dallas was 24-28-10 and nine points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference before a 3-2 home win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Video: Blackhawks bring back D Johnny Oduya

Oduya has played one game since returning from an ankle injury sustained Jan. 17.

"Health was an issue, but we had all the medical records and he's healthy now," Nill said. "He would have played tonight if he wasn't getting traded, so that wasn't an issue."

In 37 games this season, Oduya has seven points (one goal, six assists). He has 180 points (36 goals, 144 assists) in 783 regular-season games during 11 seasons with the Stars, New Jersey Devils, Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks.

Oduya has 28 points (six goals, 22 assists) in 102 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

The Washington Capitals selected Oduya in the seventh round (No. 221) of the 2001 NHL Draft.

McNeill was the No. 18 pick of the 2011 NHL Draft by Chicago. The 24-year-old center has played one NHL game. He has 28 points (six goals, 22 assists) in 58 games with Rockford of the American Hockey League this season and will join Texas of the AHL.

"Sometimes a change of scenery's good for somebody, so he's going to come here," Nill said. "It's a great opportunity for him. He'll add some depth to us and we'll see where it goes."
 

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