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Blackhawks trade Panarin to Blue Jackets, Saad headed back to Chicago

Brandon Saad and Artemi Panarin have been swapped in a blockbuster NHL trade between the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets.

In their second trade of the day, the Chicago Blackhawks re-acquired forward Brandon Saad from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a four-player trade that also included draft picks.

The cost? Chicago had to send dynamic forward Artemi Panarin to Columbus along with young forward Tyler Motte and a 6th round pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

In addition to Saad, Chicago is also getting goaltender Anton Forsberg and the Jackets’ 5th round pick in 2018.

It appears to be another salary cap move for the Blackhawks, who were apparently afraid of being able to sign Hjalmarsson and Panarin after the last two years of their contracts are coming up.

Earlier in the day, Chicago traded Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Coyotes.

This is a great trade for the Blue Jackets who add more scoring touch to balance out with their already strong defense and play in goal. Panarin instantly becomes the Jackets’ best player offensively — although it will be interesting to see what his point production is like without having Patrick Kane on his line.

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