Coyotes acquire Hjalmarsson from Blackhawks

Rachel Hardy
June 24, 2017

"We thank Artemi for the immediate impact he made on our lineup during his seamless transition to the National Hockey League", said Chicago Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman.

A day after the Edmonton Oilers shipped Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders, another playoff team has traded away a high-profile forward.

The Chicago Blackhawks have re-acquired forward Brandon Saad in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, parting with top young forward Artemi Panarin to complete the blockbuster deal.

The Chicago Blackhawks have reacquired Brandon Saad along with Anton Forsberg and a 2018 fifth-round pick in exchange for Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte, and a 2017 sixth-round pick.

Brandon Saad is no stranger to the Chicago Blackhawks lineup.

Meanwhile, the Arizona Coyotes also acquired Niklas Hjalmarsson in a trade with the Blackhawks on Friday, adding a dependable defenseman during a time of turmoil for the franchise. The 24-year-old finished with 24 goals and 29 assists in 82 games for Columbus last season. Saad returns to the Blackhawks where he was a two-time Stanley Cup victor with Chicago, winning in 2013 and 2015. At right, in a January 17, 2017, file photo, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Brandon Saad works against the Carolina Hurricanes during an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio.

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While they will miss Panarin, Saad is a better two-way forward, and he will return to play alongside captain Jonathan Toews.

Hossa, who announced that he would miss this season because of an severe ongoing allergy, was one of the premier two-way wingers in the National Hockey League.

Hjalmarsson has spent his entire 10-year career in Chicago and was part of three Stanley Cup winners during that time. During those first four seasons, he totaled 52 goals and 74 assists in 208 games.

A couple of days after announcing they would be without Marian Hossa for the season, the Chicago Blackhawks are also losing a player who ranked 11th in league scoring.

Chicago will try to replace Hjalmarsson, a sneaky piece on defence, with Murphy, who's six years younger with contractual control ($3.85 million cap hit) for five more seasons. Murphy, 24, recently completed his fourth season in the NHL and had 2 goals and 15 assists in 77 games last season with the Coyotes, who selected Murphy with the 20th pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.

"I just have nothing but exciting feelings going to a great organization", Murphy said.

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