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Oduya, Blackhawks not ruling out return

Johnny Oduya returning to the Chicago Blackhawks is less likely after Trevor Daley was acquired by the Blackhawks from the Dallas Stars on Friday, but neither side is completely shutting the door just yet.

Oduya’s agent Don Meehan wrote in an email Saturday that they were “considering a number of options”.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman also wasn’t definitive either way during a Friday conference call.

“Not going to rule anything out or rule it in,” Bowman said. “It’s still sort of a fluid situation, and there are a lot of factors at play. We’re getting closer to a point where we can say, ‘This is our team,’ but we’re not there yet.

"There has been some discussions on different things, but can’t characterize it other than that, which is discussions. Like this trade, until it’s done, it’s not done, and that’s why we’re here talking we’re able to come to an agreement and finalize it. It’s one of those things we’ve talked about and haven’t finalized. That’s about the best I can give you at this point.”

Oduya, a 33-year-old defenseman, became an unrestricted free agent after last season. He spent the last three and a half seasons with the Blackhawks and was part of two Stanley Cup championship teams. He had nine goals, 34 assists, was a plus-31 and averaged 20:37 of ice time in 219 regular-season games for the Blackhawks. He has also played in 71 playoff games for them.

Oduya signed a three-year, $10.125 million contract extension with the Blackhawks after the 2011-12 season. He was acquired by the Blackhawks in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets.

The Blackhawks acquired Daley, who has a $3.3 million cap hit, and forward Ryan Garbutt from the Stars in exchange for forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Stephen Johns on Friday.

The Blackhawks have about $900,000 in cap space for next season as of now. They are still expected to re-sign restricted free agent Marcus Kruger to a long-term extension and likely trade another player or two from their current roster to become cap compliant.