Blackhawks re-acquire Saad, send Panarin, Hjalmarsson packing
Rangers deal forward Derek Stepan, goalie Antti Raanta to Coyotes
It wouldn't be the NHL off-season without Chicago general manager Stan Bowman tinkering with his lineup.
The Blackhawks on Friday swapped left-wingers with Columbus, re-acquiring Brandon Saad for Artemi Panarin.
Goaltender Anton Forsberg is also headed to Chicago with a 2018 fifth-round draft pick, while the Blue Jackets receive left-winger Tyler Motte and a sixth-rounder in this weekend's draft at the United Center in Chicago in addition to Panarin.
VIDEO: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CBJ?src=hash">#CBJ</a> general manager Jarmo Kekalainen discusses the Artemi Panarin-Brandon Saad trade, <a href="https://t.co/2iDC5HLC2q">https://t.co/2iDC5HLC2q</a>—@treed1919
"This is a day of highs and lows," Bowman said. "There's some tougher conversations, but there's also, we're moving ahead, we're excited about what we have coming in."
"This is a dynamic player who's got tremendous speed and quickness and that 1-on-1 ability to create odd-man situations, and with his skill just create time in space and scoring opportunities," Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "I think he's one of the most dynamic forwards in the league."
2-time Cup winner
Earlier Friday, Bowman sent veteran Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for defenceman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin.
The Blackhawks won the Central Division last season with a 50-23-9 record, finishing with the most points in the Western Conference. They were considered one of the favourites to make it to the Stanley Cup.
But they were swept by Nashville in the opening series, managing just three goals in 13 periods in an embarrassing performance for a team with three championships since 2010. Bowman angrily called it a complete failure, and then overhauled coach Joel Quenneville's staff and replaced the coach of the team's top minor league affiliate.
Saad, 24, matched his career-high 53 points this past season, the six-foot-one, 202-pounder's second with the Blue Jackets after Chicago dealt the-then pending restricted free agent on June 30, 2015 for centre Artem Anisimov, among others, in a seven-player trade.
The Pittsburgh native helped the Blackhawks to Stanley Cup championships in 2013 and 2015.
Shortly after arriving in Columbus, Saad signed a six-year contract worth $36 million US that doesn't expire until 2021. The 2016 all-star has compiled 107 goals and 232 points in 368 regular-season games with the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks.
Panarin, much smaller than Saad at five-foot-11, 170 pounds, gives Columbus another 30-goal man, joining Cam Atkinson, who scored 35 goals in 2016-17.
'Dynamic offensive player'
The 25-year-old has been a consistent scorer in the NHL, having scored 30 goals in his rookie campaign and 31 last season. In 162 regular-season contests with Chicago, Panarin recorded 151 points, 17 power-play goals, 12 game-winning goals and a plus-26 rating. He also became the first rookie since Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby to post 10, three-point performances in a season.
Panarin agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract extension in December that runs through the 2018-19 season.
Motte, 22, split his rookie season in 2016-17 with the AHL's Chicago Wolves and Rockford IceHogs, combining for 14 goals and 23 assists. He also helped the United States win a bronze medal at the 2015 world junior championship.
Forsberg, whom the Blue Jackets drafted in the seventh round in 2011, has a 73-35-10 record and .923 save percentage in 126 AHL games, helping Lake Erie to a Calder Cup title in 2016.
Meanwhile, the six-foot-three, 197-pound Hjalmarsson, 30, collected 18 points in 73 games last season and topped the Blackhawks with a career-high 187 blocked shots, which ranked sixth in the NHL. The big Swede has blocked 903 shots since the 2009-10 season, fifth most in the league.
I don't like the Hjalmarsson trade. He's the wrong guy to ship out. He is an ELITE defensive D who would be top 4 on any team. No no no <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bad?src=hash">#Bad</a>—@Jeremy_Roenick
Murphy, 24, is coming off his fourth NHL season in which he tallied 17 points in 77 starts. The native of Dublin, Ohio served as captain of the United States at this year's world championship.
The 22-year-old Dauphin of Repentigny, Que., combined to play 32 games with Arizona the past two seasons.
Schenn dealt to Blues
The St. Louis Blues acquired centre Brayden Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers during the first round of the NHL draft Friday night.
In exchange for the three-time 20-goal-scorer, the Flyers got the Blues' first-round pick this year, a conditional first-round pick in next year's draft and third-year forward Jori Lehtera.
The Blues add a playmaker in Schenn, who had 25 goals and 30 assists for 55 points in 79 games last season. Overall, he has 109 goals and 246 points in 424 games over eight NHL seasons.
Schenn does carry a hefty contract, which represents a $5.125 million cap hit in each of the next three seasons.
The Flyers used the Blues' pick, 27th overall, to select centre Morgan Frost. Lehtera was selected in the third round of the 2008 draft. He had seven goals and 22 points in 64 games last year.
The Blues weren't done, trading forward Ryan Reaves to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Oskar Sundqvist, while swapping draft picks with the Blues getting the 31st pick and the Penguins getting the 51st pick.
Stepan, Raanta desert-bound
Arizona general manager John Chayka made a splash before Friday's NHL draft, trading for centre Derek Stepan and goaltender Antti Raanta from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenceman Anthony DeAngelo, a 2014 first-round pick, and the Coyotes' seventh-overall pick on Friday.
Stepan, 27, is fresh off a 17-goal, 55 point season and has four seasons left on a deal that carries a $6.5 million US salary cap hit.
"Our organization has been searching for a true No. 1 centre for over a decade and we are confident that he can be that for us."
Raanta, 28, joins his third team after breaking into the NHL with Chicago during the 2013-14 campaign. The Finnish netminder has one year left on his deal with a modest $1 million cap hit.
He was 16-8-2 last season with four shutouts, a 2.26 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.
"Antti is a highly skilled, athletic goaltender," Chayka said. "We're confident that he can emerge as an excellent starting goalie for us."
GM John Chayka "confident that (Antti Raanta) can emerge as an excellent starting goalie" for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Coyotes?src=hash">#Coyotes</a>.—@SWhyno
DeAngelo, 21, had five goals and 13 points in 39 games for Arizona last season.
The Rangers now have the No. 7 and 21st picks in Friday's draft.
In other moves Friday:
- Columbus acquired centre Jordan Schroeder from Minnesota for centre Dante Salituro. Since his NHL debut with Vancouver in 2012-13, the 26 Schroeder has 17 goals and 40 points in 144 games with the Canucks and Wild. In 292 American Hockey League games, he has 77 goals and 195 points.
The Washington Capitals have re-signed right winger T.J. Oshie to a $46 million, eight-year contract. Oshie will count $5.75 million against the salary cap through the 2024-25 season. The 30-year-old forward tied Alex Ovechkin for the team lead with 33 goals last season. That was a career high, as he has 56 points despite playing only 68 games.
The Anaheim Ducks have re-signed forward Patrick Eaves to a three-year contract worth $9.45 million. The 33-year-old forward scored two goals in seven playoff games, but sprained his right ankle and missed the Ducks' final 10 postseason contests.
With files from The Associated Press