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Blackhawks get Saad back in trade with Blue Jackets

24 June 2017

Panarin will now join a team in Columbus that appears to be on the cusp of something special while Saad rejoins his old team in Chicago.

The Chicago Blackhawks have been as busy as any team in the National Hockey League over the course of the past week, and that has continued in the final hours before tonight's draft.

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced they have traded left wing Brandon Saad, goaltender Anton Forsberg and a fifth round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks.

That same day, the Blackhawks also completed a trade with the Arizona Coyotes, parting with defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson in return for defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin. The 24-year-old Murphy had two goals and a career-high 15 assists in 77 games with Arizona last season.

ICC Champions Trophy 2017
No one said it's going to be easy. "Through soft dismissals we lost our way and that was the part that hurt the most". You have to be good enough to do that for the country and you have to be good enough to bounce back, as well.

Both Panarin and Saad carry a $6 million cap hit, but Saad is signed through 2020-21, two years longer than Panarin. Winning two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks while playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and often veteran forward Marian Hossa, Saad was a young player proving to have a high ceiling and a championship pedigree early on in his career.

General manager Stan Bowman promised changes were coming after the Chicago Blackhawks were swept in the first round of the playoffs. "All I can say is you do your best and we gave it a real good shot". However, it looks like the Blackhawks are going to try to trade his contract to a team willing to absorb it, according to Chris Nichols.

Saad, 24, won two Stanley Cups in four seasons with the Blackhawks before being traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets prior to last season in exchange for Artem Anisimov and Marko Dano. Last season marked his second in Chicago, where he played in 82 games and scored 31 goals.

The 30-year-old Hjalmarsson had spent his entire 10-year career with Chicago, where he had 23 goals and 120 assists in 623 career games along with the franchise record for most playoff games played by a Blackhawks defenceman at 128.