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Blackhawks bring back Brandon Saad, send Artemi Panarin to Columbus

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CHICAGO - Trade winds are blowing on draft day in the Windy City.

After sending veteran defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to Arizona, the Blackhawks are bringing back a familiar face.

Brandon Saad is headed back to Chicago in exchange for Artemi Panarin.

The deal also includes Tyler Motte and the Hawks' sixth-round pick for Anton Forsberg and Blue Jackets' fifth round pick in 2018.

Saad spent the past two seasons in Columbus, where he tallied a combined 55 goals and 51 assists.

He was a fan favorite in Chicago during his time with the Blackhawks, playing a pivotal role in their most recent Stanley Cup run.

Artemi Panarin was also beloved, especially for his instant connection with Patrick Kane on a line that produced highlight reel goals on an almost nightly basis.

But the Bread Man was expensive, carrying a $6 million cap hit on an already financially-strapped roster.

Saad costs as much as Panarin, but is younger and will be under the Hawks control through 2021.

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