Stan Bowman spent much of draft day on the phone making moves to do what he saw as a way to help his team; and it definitely opened up a lot of eyes around hockey. The Chicago Blackhawks announced they had dealt Artemi Panarin to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blackhawks traded Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte, and a pick in exchange for Brandan Saad, Anton Forsberg, and a 2018 draft pick. The Blackhawks also traded Niklas Hjalmarsson for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin.
The Panarin/Saad Trade
While on the surface, this move will probably upset a lot of Hawks fans, it makes sense from a cap space point of view. Brandon Saad is under contract until 2021 and Artemi Panarin is under contract until 2019. Saad can also play defense a lot better than Panarin can, and after the disaster against Nashville, you can believe that the Hawks can use all the help on defense they can get. Multiple sources have also reported that Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were adamant in getting Brandon Saad back. It will be interesting to see how he helps the team chemistry when he gets back, I mean after all, Saad has 2 cups under his belt. Stan Bowman talked about the deal:
“We’re looking for this to spark the group and to achieve more things down the road, we don’t want to replicate an old formula, we want to move forward.” —-Stan Bowman, GM
The Hjalmarsson Trade
Niklas Hjalmarsson has been with the Blackhawks for the last 10 years. A staple of the Hawks defense, Hjalmarsson has lifted the Stanley Cup all 3 times since the Hawks renewed success in the 2010’s. Hjalmarsson is 6 years older than Connor Murphy, and Murphy brings in a little more size 6’4/212 as opposed to Hjalmarsson’s 6’3/197.
Connor Murphy scored 2 goals and 15 assists in 77 games with Arizona last year. He is in year 2 of a 6 year contract. Center Laurent Dauphin had 2 goals in 24 games splitting time between AHL and the NHL.
All in all it has been a very busy day for Chicago, and with the draft just starting I expect it not to stop any time soon.