CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have re-acquired forward Brandon Saad in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, parting with top young forward Artemi Panarin to complete the blockbuster deal.
The 24-year-old Saad spent his first four seasons with Chicago, helping the Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups. Concerned about their ability to re-sign Saad when he became a restricted free agent in 2015, the Blackhawks traded the rugged winger to the Blue Jackets.
He had 24 goals and 29 assists in 82 games for Columbus last season.
The Blackhawks also received goaltender Anton Forsberg and a 2018 fifth-round draft pick in Friday's trade in exchange for forwards Panarin and Tyler Motte and Chicago's sixth-round selection on Saturday.
The loss of Panarin is a big blow for Chicago. He teamed with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov to form one of the NHL's most potent lines the past couple seasons.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Coyotes also acquired Niklas Hjalmarsson in a trade with the Blackhawks on Friday, adding a dependable defenseman during a time of turmoil for the franchise.
The 30-year-old Hjalmarsson had spent his entire 10-year career with Chicago, helping the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup titles. The Swede had five goals, 13 assists and a team-high 181 blocked shots in 73 games last season.
Chicago received defensemen Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin in the deal announced hours before the start of the NHL draft. It also creates valuable cap space for the Blackhawks.
The 24-year-old Murphy had two goals and a career-high 15 assists in 77 games with Arizona last season. Dauphin, 22, has appeared in 32 NHL games over the last two seasons.