Blackhawks trade Saad to Avs for pair of defensemen
Goodbye, Corey Crawford.
Now goodbye, Brandon Saad. Again.
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman traded the 27-year-old forward -- as well as defenseman Dennis Gilbert -- to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for D-men Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm on Saturday.
The Hawks will retain $1 million of Saad's $6 million salary next season.
Zadorov signed his $3.2 million qualifying offer that runs through 2020-21 prior to the trade.
The trade of Saad isn't all that shocking, with the Hawks wanting to go younger and free up cap space. It gives them more flexibility to sign restricted free agent Dylan Strome and may allow them to pursue a free-agent goaltender -- although Bowman has said he plans to give Collin Delia, Kevin Lankinen and Malcolm Subban a chance to be the No. 1 netminder.
The 25-year-old Zadorov is 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds and was the 16th overall pick of the draft in 2013. He has 18 goals and 39 assists in 267 games with the Avs over the last three seasons.
The 5-11, 191 Lindholm played four games with Colorado and 45 with the Colorado Eagles of the AHL last season.
Saad had 62 goals the last three seasons since returning from Columbus. With Saad gone, it means the Hawks' top six forwards will likely be Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Dominik Kubalik, Kirby Dach and either Pius Suter, Andrew Shaw or Alex Nylander. Brandon Pirri could also be in the mix.
Strome, assuming he signs, would likely center the third line.
The addition of Zadorov gives the Hawks more veteran depth on the back end. He will join Duncan Keith, Connor Murphy, Calvin de Haan and Adam Boqvist. There's a decent chance he could be part of a third pairing with either Brent Seabrook or Ian Mitchell.