Sunday, July 5, 2015

Blackhawks, Kruger, Oduya Updates

Patience is a game that Stan Bowman has played and played well for quite a while.  Being able to dismantle the 2010 Stanley Cup Blackhawks team and able to reload with picks.  He has kept this team competitive every year of his reign.  

Now, he plays a chess game with two key pieces that they really need to bring back, Marcus Kruger and Johnny Oduya.

According to reports, "Things are progressing OK.  Nothing to report, but nothing to worry about either."  The biggest reason for the delay is because of the situation Bowman finds himself in with trying to make room under the salary cap. A deal can't be made until something is done via a trade (Sharp, Bickell, or Versteeg). Both sides are still working together patiently.

Kruger has spent his entire 5-year NHL career with the Hawks.  A 5th round draft pick from the 2009 draft, Kruger has been a very important piece of the penalty killing unit as well as matching up against top scoring lines from opposing teams.

Johnny Oduya is in a similar situation, but his is a bit more dangerous.  He is currently sitting on a deal from another team, but is patiently awaiting to see what happens with the cap situation with the Hawks.  Being a veteran, one would think that Oduya has been through this before, and is willing to wait to see what the Hawks can do.  One would hope that a hometown discount will come into play in order to keep him.

Oduya has been a cornerstorn on the 2nd defensive unit with fellow Swede, Niklas Hjalmarsson since coming here in 2012.  Mid-way through the playoffs last year, Oduya played an even bigger role as a season-ending injury to Michal Rozsival caused him to log a lot of extra minutes.

Bowman has stated, "We would like to try to bring him back; we have financial hurdles we're working through."  To play devil's advocate, Bowman mentioned similar things when talking about Brad Richards and Antoine Vermette, yet they went and signed with other teams.  One would hope that he would keep not only the nucleus, but some of it's key surrounding elements together as well on this team.

Time and patience will tell what comes of these two players that have played such big roles over the last few years.  Does Bowman have yet another check-mate up his sleeve?


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