The Dallas Stars, Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets are among the teams attempting to sign unrestricted free agent defenseman Johnny Oduya, the Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday.
Oduya, 33, played the past three-plus seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, winning the Stanley Cup twice. He had two goals, eight assists and a plus-5 rating in 76 regular-season games last season as part of Chicago's top-four defense group.
Oduya's agent told the Chicago Tribune on Monday that Oduya would be close to a decision by Tuesday.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday that Oduya will not re-sign with the Blackhawks, making him the sixth player to leave since Chicago won the Stanley Cup last month (Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad, Antoine Vermette, Brad Richards and Kimmo Timonen are the others).
It became less likely Oduya would re-sign with the Blackhawks after they acquired left-shot defenseman Trevor Daley as part of the July 10 trade that sent Sharp to the Dallas Stars.
The Blackhawks must make moves to get under the NHL's $71.4 salary cap for the 2015-16 season. They are about $400,000 over the cap, according to war-on-ice.com.
The agent for restricted free agent center Marcus Kruger told the Tribune that his client is "waiting for [the Blackhawks] to be ready to re-engage on exploring a longer term."