Guess there are no guarantees in hockey.
After Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman came out and said that Brandon Saad would stay on the Blackhawks for a long time, Bowman shipped Saad, along with Michael Paliotta and Alex Broadhurst, to the Blue Jackets. In return, the Blackhawks receive Artem Anisimov, Jeremy Morin, Marko Dano, Corey Tropp, and a fourth round pick in 2016.
Initial impression of this trade: it’s a ton to give up, but the Blue Jackets came out on top.
Saad has played incredible hockey for the Blackhawks. He brought a consistent energy to the team, and was, at times, the best player on the ice.
Saad finished this past season with 23 goals and 52 points in 82 games. He added eight goals and three assists in 23 playoff games. Saad is just 23 years old.
“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,” 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.”
Expect Saad to sign a long-term contract with the Blue Jackets in the near future. Columbus has the cap room to make it happen. He will be a fixture on the top line, with Ryan Johansen and Cam Atkinson.
Paliotta also fills a need at right defense for the Blue Jackets. He is 6-foot-3 and 207 pounds. He was the 70th overall pick of the Blackhawks in the 2011 entry draft. Paliotta played in 144 games over four seasons at the University of Vermont. He has 83 points scored in those games. He also appeared in a single game this past season for the Blackhawks.
Broadhurst is a left-handed center who last played for the AHL Rockford IceHogs. He was the 199th pick in the 2011 draft. He is best remembered for scoring the first short-handed hat trick in the history of the USHL. He also spent a season playing for the London Knights of the OHL.
The big gets for the Blackhawks are Marko Dano and Artem Anisimov. Dano was forced into action this past season thanks to injuries. He responded well, playing on a line with Scott Hartnell and Alexander Wennberg. Dano recorded 21 points in 35 games. He was a first round pick of the Blue Jackets in 2013.
Anisimov ran into some injury trouble this past season. He played in just 52 games. He recorded seven goals and 27 points. He is a streaky player. When he’s on, he’s one of the best players on the ice. Other times, he was very silent. He will fill a need at center for Chicago, probably on the third line.
Also included in the trade were Morin and Tropp. Morin comes back to the Blackhawks after being traded to Columbus in the Tim Erixon deal. Morin played in the World Championships for Team USA, helping them win a bronze medal. Tropp fills a need on the fourth line. He scored eight points in 61 games this past season.
The Blackhawks were afraid of an offer sheet. Chances were very high one was coming. Plus signing Saad could have crippled the Blackhawks in future seasons. They get relief, while acquiring decent pieces in return. The Blue Jackets get a potential impact winger for many seasons. Advantage Columbus, but both teams got things they needed.
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2022-23 season will mark nine seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager. Please take note of the updated Twitter handle: @mark_scheig.