Chicago re-acquired Brandon Saad and parted with Niklas Hjalmarsson and Artemi Panarin in a pair of stunning trades on Friday, giving the Blackhawks a younger look for their forwards and defensemen. In his rookie season following his jump from the KHL to the NHL, Panarin scored 30 goals and 77 points in 80 games en route to the 2016 Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the league's top rookie. "I mean obviously we didn't know until we began negotiating where they were going to be", Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. At right, in a January 17, 2017, file photo, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Brandon Saad works against the Carolina Hurricanes during an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio.
"I certainly like the fact that we're getting younger", Bowman said. Also, Tyler Motte and a sixth-round pick in this year's draft will head to the Blue Jackets.
This is an interesting deal reunites Saad with some old friends in Chicago, where he won two Cups.
Could Chicago deal Marian Hossa's contract? The Swede had five goals, 13 assists and a team-high 181 blocked shots in 73 games last season. He teamed with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov to form one of the NHL's most potent lines the past couple seasons. But Columbus gets the better end of the deal here, as they get Panarin, who is the better player. Following up that impressive showing in his sophomore year, Panarin scored 31 goals and 74 points in 82 games and earned himself a two-year contract extension that would pay him $6 million per season set to kick in at the start of the 2017-18 season.