Top-10 UFA countdown: #10 - Johnny Oduya

Ryan Lambert
June 03 2015 09:00AM

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Photo Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports

This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy!

If you're looking for a veteran presence that Chicago might be inclined to let walk, especially from that blue line, Johnny Oduya seems as likely a candidate as anyone. While he is part of the four-headed beast that arose in these playoffs because Joel Quenneville literally doesn't trust anyone else to patrol the blue line, Oduya best matches the description of a guy who will probably be allowed to walk.

The reasons why should be clear enough: He'll be 34 on Oct. 1, he probably wants one last multi-year deal, he probably wants a raise from his current $3.375 cap hit per NHLNumbers.com, and he's wrapping up a season in which he was vilified for much of the year by his own fans.

Stan Bowman is a smart general manager and while it's not totally clear how he's going to address his blue line's depth problems, giving a 34-year-old coming off a bad year multiple seasons and a raise doesn't seem like part of the plan. So in other words, it's very likely that Oduya is available to the highest bidder come July 1.

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How the Jets can use the return of the Manitoba Moose to their advantage

Thomas Drance
June 02 2015 01:24PM

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Photo Credit: Zazzle.com

As an internal budget team throughout their 2.0 existence, the Winnipeg Jets start every season at a disadvantage compared with the NHL's big spenders. 

Though the Jets have slowly increased their spending, both in aggregate and relative to the salary cap, since landing in back Manitoba - even spending right up to the artificially lowered upper limit during the 2013-14 season - this is still a club that operates in an austere environment. This past season they ran at about $5 million less than the $69 million upper limit according to NHLNumbers.com, and this is a trend we should probably expect to continue unless ownership and management agree the window of opportunity is open. 

To general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff's credit, the club's mild spending disadvantage hasn't cost the club any core assets. That's the good news, but budget issues have kept the Jets restrained from being real players in free agency (actually, one might reasonably argue that this is to their benefit), and up until the 2014 NHL trade deadline, the Jets hadn't capitalized on surplus cap space on the trade market in the way we often see from clubs in larger markets. 

An internal budget team in a salary cap league generally has to be pretty efficient elsewhere to keep up. With the upcoming return of the Manitoba Moose next season, the Jets have a marvellous opportunity to turn a relative weakness to their advantage. 

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Winnipeg Jets By The Numbers: T.J. Galiardi 2014-2015

Garret Hohl
June 02 2015 07:00AM

The season has been laid to rest.

Fans have completed their lamenting of the Anaheim Ducks sweeping the Winnipeg Jets. The healing process has begun.

But, before full closure can be completed, an autopsy of the Jets season must be initiated.

We turn our evidence-based breakdown of the Jets 13th forward, T.J. Galiardi.

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Winnipeg Jets By The Numbers: Michael Frolik 2014-2015

Garret Hohl
June 01 2015 10:50AM

The season has been laid to rest.

Fans have completed their lamenting of the Anaheim Ducks sweeping the Winnipeg Jets. The healing process has begun.

But, before full closure can be completed, an autopsy of the Jets season must be initiated.

We turn our evidence-based breakdown of the Jets multi-tool extraordinaire, Michael Frolik.

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Meet Your Manitoba Moose, Part 5: Joel Armia

Jeremy Wiebe
May 29 2015 09:30AM

This five-part series will focus on the players that will don the Manitoba Moose jersey in 2015-16. While these players may see time with the Winnipeg Jets next season, they will likely make up the core of the farm team that will be heading to the Manitoba capital. The fifth and final part features Joel Armia.

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