Ranking the Blackhawks’ salary cap departures

For all the ones that got away during the Blackhawks’ salary cap purges in the wake of their Stanley Cup title runs, “Turbo” is coming back.

Teuvo Teravainen, traded to Carolina in 2016, is returning to the Hawks after agreeing Monday to a three-year, $16.2 million contract.

It helped ease the sting for Hawks fans who saw so much bright young talent shipped off due to the money crunches the team faced after winning titles in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

This week’s High Five looks at the top names who were traded away while the Hawks attempted to keep championship talent around Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and other high-priced members of the core.

Fans remain horrified by the 2017 trade that sent Artemi Panarin to Columbus, but we’re not including it here because the move was also about Blackhawks management wanting Brandon Saad back in the fold for a potential playoff run.

5. Patrick Sharp

Although he was near the end of his career, Sharp’s departure after the 2015 championship still stung.

Sharp was a major part of all three titles, but the Hawks needed to shed his $5.9 million in cap space by shipping him to Dallas in exchange for Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt.

Sharp scored 239 goals during his prime with the Hawks, and added 10 more when he returned for one final season in 2017.

4. Andrew Ladd

Blackhawks fans quickly learned the reality of the salary-cap era after the 2010 season.

Less than a month after the team won its first Stanley Cup since 1961, Ladd was sent to the Atlanta Thrashers for defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy, who never played a game for the Hawks.

Ladd, a restricted free agent in his mid-20s at the time, scored 37 goals and had 62 assists in three seasons with the Hawks and had six points in the 2010 Stanley Cup run.

Ladd was brought back near the trade deadline in 2016 as the Hawks tried to defend their last title.

3. Dustin Byfuglien

Another salary-cap casualty after 2010, Byfuglien’s grittiness in front of the net was a defining element of the epic playoff run. He, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu were sent to the Thrashers just two weeks after the Hawks beat Philadelphia in the Stanley Cup Final.

In three seasons, Byfuglien scored 51 goals and had 50 assists. After tallying 34 points in the 2009-10 regular season, he soared with 11 goals and 5 assists in 22 playoff games.

Only 24 in 2010, Byfuglien was due $3 million the next season.

2. Brandon Saad

Saad tallied 241 points in seven seasons during two stints with the Blackhawks. He helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015.

Only 22 in 2015, Saad seemed to be part of the future of the franchise. But with his rookie deal expiring, management didn’t want to pay for a raise and traded his negotiating rights to Columbus.

Now in his 30s, he continues to be productive for St. Louis. He scored 26 goals and had 16 assists last season.

1. Teuvo Teravainen

Despite being only 21, Teravainen had a breakout season in 2015-16 while scoring 13 goals with 22 assists.

But with the Hawks in desperate need of shedding salary, they had to include Teravainen in a trade with Carolina that also sent Bryan Bickell and his $4 million cap hit to the Hurricanes in exchange for draft picks.

Teravainen thrived in eight seasons with Carolina, scoring 138 goals with 277 assists. He helped the Hurricanes reach the playoffs the last six seasons including two conference finals appearances.

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