BLUE JACKETS GET SAAD FROM CHICAGO
The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired winger Brandon Saad, defenseman Michael Paliotta and forward Alex Broadhurst from the Chicago Blackhawks for center Artem Anisimov, forward Marko Dano, wingers Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp as well as fourth-round draft pick in 2016.
What does it give the Columbus Blue Jackets
The off-season of shock and awe continues in the NHL, as the Blue Jackets have landed a premier two-way winger with two Stanley Cup rings to his name at the age of 22. He would have been expensive to keep in Chicago but the Jackets shouldn't have as much trouble getting him under contract for the long run. In addition to getting Saad, Columbus also received a decent defense prospect in Paliotta as well as AHL depth forward Broadhurst. The Jackets now become major players in the Metropolitan Division (if they weren't already).
What does it give the Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks have stripped down and rebuilt their roster, which led to another Stanley Cup twice before, so GM Stan Bowman knows what he's doing. That said, losing Saad has to hurt here. He was an ideal 'Hawk because of his speed, size and two-way approach to the game. However, this deal helps re-tool Chicago's next Stanley Cup run (whenever that will be). Anisimov will likely become Chicago's No. 2 center behind Jonathan Toews immediately, while Dano has the potential to thrive in Chicago. Morin and Tropp add depth.
Saad's fantasy stock may dip a bit without Toews and Marian Hossa as linemates but he'll be an even bigger piece in Columbus (with perhaps even more ice time). The big winner here is Dano, who could wind up replacing Saad on Chicago's top line with Toews and Hossa. Paliotta has some upside as a fantasy blueliner, while Morin will continue to be a sleeper as he returns to the Windy City.