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Blackhawks trade Artem Anisimov to Senators for Zack Smith

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Chicago saves $1.3 million in salary cap space with the deal.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks and Senators swapped veteran forwards that both wear No. 15 on Tuesday, with Artem Anisimov heading to Ottawa while Zack Smith makes his way to Chicago.

Smith, 31, had 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists) with a 44.6 Corsi For rating at even strength and won 49.1 percent of his faceoffs last season in 70 games. He plays a heavy game as a power forward at center or left wing.

The 2008 third-round pick has 193 points (94 goals, 99 assists) and a 50.7 faceoff percentage in 612 NHL games, all with the Senators, and nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 45 playoff games. He has two seasons left on his four-year contract worth $3,250,000 with a 10-team no-trade clause.

Smith will see a familiar face in Chicago with assistant Marc Crawford, who was an associate head coach for three seasons with Ottawa and interim coach in March before joining Chicago as an assistant.

Anisimov scored at least 15 goals and 31 points in four seasons with the Blackhawks after he was acquired in June 2015 when the Blackhawks sent Brandon Saad to the Blue Jackets. Anisimov eclipsed the 20-goal and 40-point marks in each of his first two seasons with the Blackhawks while playing with wingers Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane, but saw his offensive production dip once Panarin was dealt to Columbus.

Anisimov, also 31, signed a five-year extension with Chicago the day after he was acquired that included two years of a no-movement clause and a modified no-trade clause of 10 teams he could be traded to for the 2018-19 season. Once the Blackhawks paid out his $2 million signing bonuses and the NTC expired, Anisimov and his $4.55 million annual salary cap hit were traded.

Chicago saves $1.3 million in cap space with the move, which they could use to re-sign winger Brendan Perlini.

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Sean Tierney/Charting Hockey
Sean Tierney/Charting Hockey

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has been busy this offseason making multiple changes after a second straight season without making the playoffs. Bowman acquired defensemen Olli Maatta and Calvin de Haan in trades in attempts to upgrade the blue line and signed forward Ryan Carpenter and goaltender Robin Lehner in free agency.

Bowman also traded blue liner Henri Jokiharju to the Sabres for winger Alexander Nylander, in a swap involving two former first-round picks.

Poll

How do you grade this trade for the Blackhawks?

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  • 7%
    A
    (58 votes)
  • 40%
    B
    (331 votes)
  • 36%
    C
    (299 votes)
  • 10%
    D
    (85 votes)
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    F
    (38 votes)
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