Flyers Claim D-man With Stanley Cup Experience Off Waivers

NHL trade deadline day is upon us and Flyers general manager Ron Hextall has made his first move of the day. 

But it's not a trade. Instead, he decided to pluck a veteran defenseman off the waiver wire.

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The Flyers on Monday afternoon claimed Johnny Oduya, a 12-year veteran who has played 849 career games with New Jersey, Atlanta/Winnipeg, Chicago, Dallas and Ottawa, off waivers from the Senators team they just beat on Saturday afternoon.

Oduya, who is 36 and has two Stanley Cups from the Blackhawks' glory run (2013 and 2015), brings a trusted presence to the back of the Flyers' defense. He brings with him a $1 million cap hit on a contract that expires after this season.

"It's the experience and he's a proven veteran guy in the dressing room," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said after Monday's morning skate in Montreal prior to his team's game vs. the Canadiens. "He's an outstanding defender and he's very versatile in terms of being able to play either side. 

"I think he certainly brings an element to our group."

Oduya, a native Swede who was a seventh-round pick in the 2001 draft, has 41 goals and 149 assists for 149 points in his regular-season career. He also brings 106 games of postseason experience in which he's posted six goals and 22 assists. And, of course, those two shiny Stanley Cup rings with Chicago.

This season with a stumbling Ottawa club, Oduya has added four goals and four assists in an overage of 17:51 per night in 51 games. In his career, Oduya has averaged 19:54 of ice time per game.

It remains to be seen who is the new odd man out of the Flyers' defensive rotation now that Oduya is on the scene for the stretch run to the playoffs. 

One player who for certain has fallen out of that rotation is Mark Alt, who was claimed off waivers by the Colorado Avalanche on Monday (see story).

The 26-year-old Alt, a 2010 second-round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes, played nine games with the Flyers, including eight this season, has yet to record a point in the NHL.

NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Boruk contributed to this story.

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