This post is part of Blackhawks Day on PHT…
After being swept by the Nashville Predators in the opening round of the playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks made some pretty significant changes to their roster.
Scott Darling, who would have likely walked in free agency, was traded to Carolina, while Niklas Hjalmarsson, Artemi Panarin and Marcus Kruger were also traded away. On top of that, a strange allergy will keep Marian Hossa out of the lineup all season, so that’s another player who won’t suit up for them in 2017-18.
The Hjalmarsson and Panarin deals were both surprising, but there’s no denying that the Panarin deal probably hurt Blackhawks fans the most. After all, he scored at least 30 goals in each of his first two seasons and he put up 77 and 74 points.
The whole trade was pretty interesting. Chicago shipped Panarin, prospect Tyler Motte and a sixth-round pick in 2017 to Columbus for former ‘Hawk Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg and a fifth-round pick in 2018.
As dynamic as the young Russian is, Saad is no slouch either. The ‘Hawks drafted the 24-year-old in the second round of the 2011 draft. Since he entered the league in 2012, he’s surpassed the 20-goal goal mark three times, including a 31-goal season back in 2015-16.
Each player’s contract situation also played a factor in this deal. Both make $6 million per season, but Panarin has two years left on his deal while Saad is under contract for four more years.
Although these two players are different, it appears as though this is a trade that makes sense for both sides. Chicago may have traded the “shiftier” player away, but Saad can create offense too, and the fact that he’s under contract for two extra years is also a plus.
Still, there are plenty of people who think the ‘Hawks made a mistake by making this trade.
How do you feel about this transaction? Vote in the poll below and feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section.