Friday July 3rd, 2015

The Columbus Blue Jackets made a strong commitment to their prime offseason acquisition on Friday afternoon, signing young power forward Brandon Saad to a six-year deal worth $36 million.

Adding a player of Brandon’s caliber is exciting for the Columbus Blue Jackets organization and our fans,” GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement. “We are extremely pleased to have reached this long-term commitment that assures he will be an important part of our team for years to come.”

Saad was acquired along with prospects Michael Paliotta and Alex Broadhurst earlier this week in a deal that that sent Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a 2016 draft pick to Chicago.

Anisimov signed a five-year, $22.75 million extension with the Blackhawks on Wednesday.

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Saad's $6 million AAV makes the 22-year-old two-time Cup winner the highest paid player on the Columbus roster. It also illustrates that the Blackhawks, a team that is working to get out from under a serious cap crunch, couldn't possibly afford him. Elliotte Friedman is reporting that Chicago’s top offer involved a $5 million AAV. Still a strong effort given Saad's limited NHL experience, but the market dictated a higher value.

That probably won’t make fans who are still stinging from his abrupt departure feel any better, but it’s clear that Chicago GM Stan Bowman was up against a wall and made the best deal possible under the circumstances.

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