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Blackhawks trade Nikita Zadorov to Calgary for a third-round pick

Perhaps the most polarizing player on the Blackhawks roster is heading north of the border.

Chicago Blackhawks v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Nikita Zadorov saga in Chicago appears to be over.

According to multiple media reports, the Blackhawks have traded Zadorov to the Calgary Flames. The trade talks were first reported by Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet and the completion of the deal was later confirmed by Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest.

Friedman was the first to report on the return in the deal:

The Blackhawks later confirmed the trade details:

Zadorov came to the Blackhawks in the 2020 offseason as part of the trade that sent Brandon Saad to the Colorado Avalanche. In 55 games with Chicago, Zadorov scored one goal with seven assists while averaging 19:12 of ice time but was also the subject of more intense discussion than just about any other player on the 2021 Blackhawks because of his penchant for delivering massive hits all over the ice — sometimes abandoning his defensive positioning to do so.

He was also a restricted free agent, receiving a qualifying offer from the Hawks on Monday that wasn’t signed. Zadorov was not selected by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft despite being left unprotected by Chicago.

In 411 career NHL games, Zadorov has 23 goals with 60 assists and 419 penalty minutes. Originally from Moscow, the Russian defenseman was a first-round pick (16th overall) of the Buffalo Sabres in the 2013 NHL Draft.