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:
Zadorov from CHI to CAL for the third-rounder Flames got from TOR in Rittich deal.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 28, 2021
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.