Midway through the NHL offseason and veteran defenseman Johnny Oduya remains without a contract. At 37 years of age, it appears as if Oduya’s NHL future is over, especially after being unceremoniously dumped by the Ottawa Senators and then the Philadelphia Flyers last season.
Oduya struggled in 51 games for the Sens in 2017-18, putting up just four goals and eight points before being claimed off of waivers by the Flyers at the NHL Trade Deadline. Oduya would go on to play just a single game for the Flyers organization and is now an unrestricted free agent with no immediate plans to join an NHL team for 2018-19.
During a one on one interview with Swedish publication Hockey Sverige, Oduya dished some details of his time with the Sens and well… let’s just say that Oduya doesn’t help dispel the notion that the Sens are a poorly run organization. Check out some of these translated quotes:
“Ottawa don’t have the same stability or tradition as other clubs, if something minor happens then the house of cards fall apart really fast. Big difference compared to other clubs I’ve played for.”
“We thought we'd be better than we were."
"I do not know what affected what if it started with problems that then seemed outward, or if there were problems outside that then began to crawl. I do not know which one is, but I think it was a combination of both and, guaranteed.”
“It was not very good. I do not think I started getting on until Christmas ever. Then the season was more or less already over in Ottawa.”
Ouch… tell us what you really think, Johnny.
Interesting how he throws the Sens under the bus, but doesn’t really say anything about the Flyers. After all, the Sens signed him to a deal and played him in over 50 games… the Flyers sat him in the press box. Admittedly, Oduya did struggle through some injuries since being claimed off of waivers, but still it’s clear that he has a bad taste in his mouth from his time in Ottawa.
If this is indeed the end of the road for the 37 year old veteran, he’ll retire from the game as a two time Stanley Cup champion. The smooth skating Swedish blue liner has 41 goals and 190 points in 850 career regular season games with an additional 28 points in 106 career playoff games. He split his 11 year career between the New Jersey Devils, Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Senators and Flyers.