Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad to Blue Jackets

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded winger Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets. 
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The Chicago Blackhawks have traded winger Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the clubs announced Tuesday

Chicago receives forwards Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp, in addition to a fourth-round pick in next year's draft. In addition to Saad, the Blue Jackets acquire forward Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Michael Paliotta. 

Saad, 22, becomes a restricted free agent on Wednesday. Columbus now has the right to match any offer made to him. 

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The Blackhawks traded Saad because he wants a contract worth an annual average of $6.5 million over six years, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports. It's possible that another team was preparing an offer sheet for Saad with those numbers, according to McKenzie. 

Saad was fourth among Chicago forwards in average ice time this season and notched career highs with 23 goals and 29 assists. He played in all 105 games the Blackhawks played in the regular season and playoffs. He was third on the team with eight postseason goals during Chicago's Stanley Cup run. 

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Morin returns to the team with which he spent his first five-and-a-half seasons in the NHL. The Blackhawks traded him to Columbus in December for defenseman Tim Erixon.

“We’re very excited to bring Brandon Saad, a 22-year old two-time Stanley Cup champion with great size, speed, power and the ability to score goals, to our organization,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement. “He is a proven winner and exactly the kind of player we want as a Columbus Blue Jacket.”

- Dan Gartland