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Johnny Oduya picks Blackhawks over free-agent frenzy, signs 3-year deal

Getty ImagesThe 2012 trade deadline was atrocious, but the Chicago Blackhawks managed to land on our winners list for acquiring Johnny Oduya from the Winnipeg Jets for a second- and third-round pick in 2013.

Now, he's a winner too: Earning a 3-year deal with the Blackhawks.

Via Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times: "Johnny Oduya's salary will be $3.375 million average for three years."

Oduya had a $3.5 cap hit and a $4 million base salary last season, the last of a 3-year deal.

Oduya wanna avoid free agency? Why yes, he did. (NHL.com's got nothing on our terrible puns.)

When the Blackhawks traded Brian Campbell to the Florida Panthers, they gained cap relief but lost a premiere puck-moving defenseman with speed. Oduya is a poor man's Brian Campbell, but deftly filled the role in the regular season.

He had five points in 18 games for the Blackhawks in the regular season, and three in six games in the postseason. He averaged 23:14 TOI in the playoffs, right behind Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, but didn't have the strongest series against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Greg Boysen of Blackhawk Up gave Oduya a 'B' grade for the season:

Oduya sured up the 2nd defensive pairing and was able to take some of the burden off of  Brent Seabrook  and Duncan Keith when it came to ice time.  Nick Leddy played some of his best hockey of the season while being paired with Oduya.  If you eyeball his playoff numbers you would have to say he played pretty good.  Well, sometimes the numbers can be deceiving.  Oduya did not have a good series against the Coyotes.  He was not nearly as sure with the puck as he was down the stretch.  He made too many turnovers and was out of position too many times.  But, with that being said, I think Oduya played himself into a new contract with the Blackhawks.

That he did. Oduya is … OK. As a second-pairing defenseman from whom you're not expecting flashy numbers, he's OK. As a player that can cover his mistakes with his speed, he's OK. Is he the player you'd commit to for three years? Not necessarily, but GM Stan Bowman saw enough to do so.

The Blackhawks also announced Jamal Mayers has re-signed with the team, and Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times has it at a $600,000 cap hit

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