Coyotes get D Niklas Hjalmarsson in trade with Blackhawks

Taylor Byrd
June 24, 2017

The Russian native has 61 goals and 90 assists in 162 games in the National Hockey League since coming over from the KHL.

General manager Stan Bowman promised changes were coming after the Chicago Blackhawks were swept in the first round of the playoffs. The 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 chemistry is there right away", Bowman said of Saad's return. He now heads to Arizona in exchange for young defensemen Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin. 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.

Tyler Motte also was sent to Columbus, who gave up goalie Anton Forsberg and a 2018 5th round pick as part of the trade. And while Saad is not in the same category of defensive player, he does play a 200-foot game and had a ton of success in Chicago, where he won two Stanley Cups.

While they will miss Panarin, Saad is a better two-way forward, and he will return to play alongside captain Jonathan Toews.

"There's no doubt that the guys who've been here for a while are excited to have him back", Bowman said.

The 30-year-old Hjalmarsson had spent his entire 10-year career with Chicago, helping the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup titles.

But the departure of Hjalmarsson and Panarin creates two more holes that need to be filled.

Hossa, who announced that he would miss this season because of an severe ongoing allergy, was one of the premier two-way wingers in the National Hockey League. During those first four seasons, he totaled 52 goals and 74 assists in 208 games.

The Edmonton Oilers, meanwhile, finally traded scoring winger Jordan Eberle to NY for Ryan Strome and extra cap space for looming contracts to Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. "I think he's one of the most dynamic forwards in the league". He split previous year between Arizona and AHL Tucson, and was a good scorer at the minor league level (28 points in 38 games).

Both Panarin and Saad carry a $6 million cap hit, but Saad is signed through 2020-21, two years longer than Panarin. "It means a lot to me that Stan Bowman has put the trust in the trade, believing that I can help the team".

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