In a surprise move, the Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks have decided to send young winger Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Brandon Saad Shipped To Columbus

Heading into the offseason, the Chicago Blackhawks had a few cap issues that needed to be handled. Most notably, Brandon Saad was going to be a restricted free agent, meaning the Hawks had to either sign him to an extension, trade him or face the possibility of losing him.

So initially, both parties came together, with the Hawks reportedly offering him a two-year contract, worth around $10 million, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. However, the 22-year-old Saad was looking for more stability and was hoping for a long-term contract in the $6.5 million per year territory. Unfortunately, the sides could not agree on a price, even when Saad suggested he was open to a pay decrease: “The money’s going to come and go. But to win championships and play on a great team, that’s what it’s all about.”

Therefore, despite the possibility of him being the next big thing, the Hawks shipped Saad, defenseman Michael Paliotta and forward Alex Broadhurst to the Blue Jackets for Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp.

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“It’s fair to say we both tried hard to make it work. It wasn’t going to in this scenario,” Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman stated. “I don’t think we ever came close on a contract. It wasn’t for lack of effort. I respect their side. It just didn’t work for us, and it obviously didn’t work for them. That’s why we had to move on.”

As for Columbus, GM Jarmo Kekalainen is currently working on an extension with Saad and plans to match any future offer. Over four seasons, the left winger garnered 52 goals, 74 assists and 126 points, with an additional eight goals, three assists and eleven points in the 2014-15 playoffs.

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