THE BANDWAGON PERSPECTIVE
Over the last few days I have been taking a look at the remaining UFAs around the National Hockey League. Centers and wingers have been looked at and now it’s time to check out the Defensemen.
The 36-year-old Defenseman has been solid on the blue line throughout his career. Oduya has spent 11 seasons in the NHL with 7 different clubs, most notably with the Chicago Blackhawks where he won two Stanley Cup Championships in 2013 and 2015. Although Oduya has never been known for his scoring, the Swedish blueliner is capable up putting up big minutes.
With a cap hit of $1M in 2018 with the Senators, surely a Stanley Cup contending team can pick him up for a bottom two role in 2019. The Toronto Maple Leafs could be a landing spot for Oduya with $13M in cap space (some will have to be used for Nylander), the Leafs could benefit from a 1 year, $1M deal with the Swedish D Man.
Bought out by the San Jose Sharks early in the summer, the veteran D man is now a UFA. With a cap hit of $4.85M in 2018, the 37-year-old will have to take a pay cut if he wants to play for an NHL club again. Martin had some health issues last season and was never quite able to get back to game speed, only playing 14 NHL games and another 18 in the AHL. Martin was called up before the playoffs but spent must of the postseason as a healthy scratch.
If Martin does not sign with an NHL club this year, this could be the end for the veteran Defenseman.
The 37-year-old Veteran Defender has spent most of his NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks (10 seasons) and was a solid defender for most of that time. Most recently, Bieksa played three seasons with the Anaheim Ducks after being traded from the ‘Nucks for a 2nd round pick in the 2016 draft.
Bieksa is coming off a $4M cap hit with the Ducks. Will a team be willing to take a shot on Bieksa? After a 8 assist and 0 goal effort in 59 games in 2018 (and a -13 rating), it’s not looking too good for the veteran.