O'Donnell likely won't return to Hawks, but still wants to play in NHL


Its unlikely that Sean ODonnell will wear a Chicago Blackhawks uniform in 2012-13. But the veteran defenseman would still like to play somewhere next season.

ODonnell played in a diminished role for the Blackhawks last season, something he figured would likely happen when he signed with them last summer. And while it appears his time is done in Chicago, ODonnell, who will turn 41 in October, is still hoping to play his 20th NHL season somewhere.

I would like to play; I think I showed I can still play in the right circumstance, ODonnell said on Sunday. Maybe Im not even an 82-game guy or a 20-minute guy. But the right fit, a good system hopefully I can play.

Playing a lot of games was never a problem for ODonnell; prior to last season he played in 70 or more games every season since 2002-03. But ODonnell suited up for just 51 games with the Blackhawks, his lowest games played since his 1996-97 season with Los Angeles (55 games). He had no goals and seven assists, and finished minus-6, in those 51 games.

The Blackhawks are always looking for depth at defenseman, and theyll also look to adding size along the blue line next season. Theyve already re-signed Johnny Oduya to a three-year extension, and Dylan Olsen made good strides in his rookie season. But its unlikely ODonnell is part of the plans moving forward.

There are no hard feelings, but I think its one and done, ODonnell said of his time here. I saw a situation where I thought I could help the Blackhawks. It didnt quite work.

Like other players, ODonnell will be waiting to see what happens with the CBA talks, and if it affects the length of the 2012-13 season. But if there is hockey to be played, ODonnell would like to be a part of it.

July 1 is going to roll around, and maybe something will happen, he said.

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