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Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad to Avalanche in 4-player deal

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Chicago also sent Dennis Gilbert to Colorado, and acquired defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm.

Colorado Avalanche v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

The Blackhawks traded forward Brandon Saad and left-handed defenseman Dennis Gilbert to the Avalanche for left-handed defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm on Saturday.

Chicago retained $1 million of Saad’s $6 million salary cap hit, and Zadorov signed his qualifying offer of $3.2 million that runs through the 2020-21 season. Saad’s contract includes a modified no-trade clause with 10 teams he listed he wanted to be traded to.

The news first appeared on Twitter Saturday evening when Dan Milstein, Zadorov’s agent, shared the news on Twitter that his client was traded to Chicago.

The 27-year-old Saad is in the final year of the 6-year, $36 million contract he signed in July 2015 shortly after being traded from Chicago to Columbus in the deal that brought Artem Anisimov to the Blackhawks. Selected in the second-round pick (43rd overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Blackhawks, Saad was shipped back to Chicago in 2017 in the Artemi Panarin trade.

Saad scored 21 goals and 33 points in 58 games this past season for the Blackhawks, for his fifth season scoring at least 20 goals. He added two goals and three assists in nine postseason games. In his career with the Blackhawks, Saad had 114 goals and 127 assists in 428 regular season games.

Zadorov, 25, had 13 points (four goals, nine assists) and averaged 17:46 of ice time in 64 games this past season. According to Natural Stat Trick, Zadorov was sixth among Avalanche with a 50.49 Corsi-For Percentage and 48.54 Expected-Goals-For Percentage. He also had five points (three goals, two assists) in 15 postseason outings.

Zadorov, 2013 first-round pick (16th overall) by Sabres, was traded to the Avalanche in June 2015 along with Mikhail Grigoernko, JT Compher and a 2015 second-round pick for Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn. Zadorov (6-foot-6, 235 pounds) worked his way into the Colorado lineup during the 2015-16 season and had 18 goals and 41 assists in 289 games during the past five seasons.

Gilbert, 23, and Lindholm, 25, each spent the bulk of the past season in the AHL.

Gilbert, a 2015 third-round pick, received his first extended look in the NHL last season, appearing in 21 games with one goal and two assists. The Notre Dame product had wrist surgery in July and was not a Black Ace for Chicago’s postseason run. He has one year remaining on his entry-level contract with a $925,000 cap hit.

Lindholm, a 2014 fifth-round pick, has no goals and five assists in 66 NHL games. He’s spent the majority of the last three seasons playing in the AHL and is in the final year of a two-year contract with a $742,500 cap hit.