The Dallas Stars had already acquired Patrick Sharp and prospect Stephen Johns, which seemed to be quite enough in the pillaging department. But, no. On Wednesday, they signed Johnny Oduya, another stinging reminder that the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup parade is over.
You can’t accuse the Stars of being subtle. They identified the Hawks as the franchise to emulate and they have emulated the hell out of them by picking off the champions’ salary cap casualties. See the team that has won three Stanley Cups in six seasons and, you know, be like them. Oh, and Dallas signed former Hawks goalie Antti Niemi last month.
A source tells me that the Stars “want to get in on this deep-dish pizza thing too.’’
Oduya will be missed, perhaps more than the Hawks will let on. With their defensemen, most of the attention has gone to Duncan Keith for his offensive abilities. Some – not enough – has gone to Niklas Hjalmarsson for always being in the right place at the right time. But relatively little went to Oduya, who put in massive minutes in the playoffs and performed extremely well.
When the Hawks acquired defenseman Trevor Daley as part of the Sharp trade last week, it was the end of Oduya in Chicago.
Brandon Saad was the first to go in a shocking trade to Columbus. After that, the moves became somewhat easier to absorb. Brad Richards to Detroit. Antoine Vermette back to Arizona. Sharp to Dallas. And now Oduya to Dallas. Sigh.
The Stars finished five points out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference last season. Here’s guessing they’ll move up next season, with a name change: Chicago South.