Johnny Oduya is the missing link. No, not literally, but his signing today by Dallas likely seals the deal for a playoff spot for the team next year. Never mind Oduya’s track record of success almost everywhere he has been; we all know he’s a winner. He is also a breakeven AB defenseman in the NHL….no small accomplishment.
Something to cheer about in Big D, finally!
We opined in our article on the Patrick Sharp for Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt trade was a boon for Dallas. The AB of players in versus players out spread was around +8 for the Stars (and consequently a negative 8 for the Hawks). Now with the Oduya signing, Dallas moves up about 5 points to roughly a respectable -10 AB. One caveat; Oduya’s presence possibly results in the Stars giving Jordie Benn time outside the big club to mature. From a Chicago depth perspective, it may also mean the Hawks may have to rely upon a yet unknown fourth defensive pairing that will likely be significantly worse than the AB score generated by Oduya. If this is the case, Dallas is moving much closer to Chicago’s once dominant AB score by hand picking some of the Hawks and casting off detractors from goal scoring to same. While the Hawks had room to spare in the AB statistic to the rest of the league, that advantage is slipping fast.
Overall, Dallas’ offseason moves should position the club to be right in line with ANA and VAN next year while emphatically surpassing WPG. If we have a vote, we would say Jim Nill is offseason GM of the year for sure (wonder if he could return to Boston as a GM where he once was a player, ooops did we just say that aloud?). Kidding aside and the bottom line – No team has improved as much as the Stars; the Oduya and Sharp transactions ice our opinion.
An aside, but an important one. Dallas is among the league leaders in the ratio of ticket sales to hockey related revenues. According to our numbers its a beastly $7.00 or thereabouts (2013 numbers). If Dallas can make the playoffs and even play just 2 games at a $3.0mm gate, this could translate to over $20mm in extra revenues for the team. Nice work Mr. Nill, hope a bonus is part of your contract. If it isn’t follow us on Twitter and we will provide you some negotiating leverage LOL!!