Examining why the Montreal Canadiens should acquire Defensemen Johnny Oduya before the NHL trade deadline. Also, figuring out how much it could cost to make the trade happen.
The Montreal Canadiens have been linked to various trade rumors all season long. The Habs depth chart is thin on Defense, and the Canadiens currently missing two Defensemen due to injury. Defensemen Andrei Markov, and Greg Pateryn have both been out of the lineup for multiple weeks.
Since both of those Defenders have been hurt, the Habs have struggled to keep the puck out of their own net. Both Pateryn, and Markov, are very sound players in the Defensive zone. The Canadiens have definitely missed their presence over the past few weeks.
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Obviously, the Habs should try and add some much needed depth on the blue line. Fortunately, there are a few solid trade options in the rental market this year. One of the most solid defenders, who may available for a trade, is Dallas Stars veteran Denfensemen Johnny Oduya.
Oduya has always been a solid stay at home defender throughout his career. This season Johnny is giving the Stars the same consistent play he has always provided.
In 34 games played this season Oduya is averaging over 18 minutes of ice time and has recorded 78 blocked shots. Oduya has also scored one goal, and added six assists this season. Those numbers may not jump of the page, but keep in mind that Oduya is a Defensive Defensemen, who brings other important qualities to the table.
When Oduya was part of the Chicago Blackhawks organization, he won two Stanley Cup championships. His presence in the Habs locker room would give the Canadiens extra leadership as they head into the Playoffs. That leadership quality is extremely valuable to have down the stretch of the season, and in the Playoffs.
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Markov is now 38 years old, and the Habs would probably want to limit his minutes moving forward. Also, Defensemen Nathan Beaulieu has had some ups and downs replacing the injured Markov in a top four role. Beaulieu has a ton of potential, but hasn’t quite mastered the defensive part of the game yet.
Both Markov and Beaulieu play the left side and both shoot left as well. Obviously, the left side is likely the side the Canadiens would like to add some insurance on. Oduya is a left shooting Defensemen, and plays the left side, and this would make Johnny a fit in Montreal.
The Cost of Oduya
The Dallas Stars haven’t had the season that many expected, and they currently find themselves outside the Playoff picture. The Stars are by no means out of the Playoff hunt, but with many injuries, and struggling Goaltenders, the Stars Playoff chances aren’t very high. As a result, the Stars may have to trade some of their soon to be free agents.
Johnny will be one of those Stars free agents at the end of the year. Also, the Stars will likely look to move him if they can’t make the Playoffs. Considering the fact that Oduya will be a Free Agent at the seasons end, and that Oduya is 35 years old, his price tag may not be that high either.
The Stars would likely want to add the highest draft pick that they could get, or even a mid tier prospect. However, one trade asset the Canadiens have plenty of, is draft picks. The Habs currently have five second round picks over the next two seasons.
Probably the most that the Stars could fetch for Oduya would be second round pick, and maybe even a late round conditional pick. So here is what potential trade could look like.
Canadiens get D Johnny Oduya
Stars get 2017 2nd Round Pick
The Habs should definitely seek to add some more depth on the blue line. Oduya would be the perfect insurance policy, in case another injury happened to a Canadiens Defender. If the Habs have a shot at acquiring a player that has Oduya’s experience, they should pull the trigger, and make the deal.