Oduya, 37, will play in four games later this month in Thailand’s Siam Hockey League, according to the league. The Swedish defenseman will suit up for two games with the team TRUE Hockey, one with HERTZ and one with Novotel.
It’s not the first time Oduya has played in the SHL. During the NHL lockout in 2012, he decided to go to Bangkok and led the Flying Farangs to lift the Land of Smiles Ice Hockey Classic trophy.
The silverware went missing though, according Farangs general manager/coach/player Scott Murray in a 2013 ESPN Chicago article.
“Four in the morning, Oduya said, ‘Murray, find the trophy for me. I never had a trophy before,’” Murray said laughing. “He was so happy. It was so funny to watch this guy win the tournament. The last thing I remember is he had broken the handle and was staggering out with the trophy. We still don’t know where the trophy is.”
Christian Olofsson, one of the SHL’s founders, told Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, that Oduya donated a trophy (it’s unknown if it’s the missing trophy) to the league that will honor the league’s most valuable player. The trophy is called “The Oduya.”
Olofsson told hockeysverige.se that Oduya has given back to the SHL throughout the years.
“Johnny has been one of our sponsors and ambassador from a distance for several years, so incredibly fun to be able to bring him in matches. He is a great supporter of Thailand and is passionate about helping us expand the interest in the sport of ice hockey in the country.”
Chicago acquired Oduya from Winnipeg in February 2012 in exchange for a second- and third-round pick in the 2013 NHL draft. He won two Stanley Cup titles in 2013 and 2015 with Chicago before signing as a free agent with the Stars. In the second season of his deal with Dallas, Oduya was traded back to Chicago for prospect Mark McNeill and a fourth-round pick. Oduya had one goal and one assist in 15 games during his second stint with the Blackhawks.
Oduya has not played a NHL game since March 4, 2017, with the Flyers and is currently a free agent.