The Colorado Avalanche have acquired forward Brandon Saad and defenseman Dennis Gilbert from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm.
The Avalanche get:
Saad, a potential middle six forward who finishes his second stint with the Blackhawks. After being traded back to the Hawks from Columbus in a deal that sent Artemi Panarin the other way, Saad did not quite replicate the same level of success that he had during his first stint. Still, he is a back-to-back 20-goal scorer, which will help the Avalanche's secondary scoring. Saad has one season left at $6 million ($1 of which the Blackhawks retain) before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Gilbert played 21 games for the Blackhawks in 2019-20, scoring three points. He split time between the Blackhawks and AHL's Rockford IceHogs.
The Blackhawks get:
Zadorov, a big, hard-hitting defenseman who does not generate much offense. The 6-6, 235 lb. Russian has averaged over 200 hits per season over the last three seasons. However, he has reached 20 points just once in his career. He was a 2013 first-round pick (16th overall) of the Buffalo Sabres. He signed his RFA tender at $3.2 million, so the Hawks will get cap space out of the trade as well. That will help them to re-sign another RFA in Dylan Strome.
Lindholm played four games with the Avalanche last season, recording an assist. He spent most of the season with the AHL's Colorado Eagles.
Fantasy players impacted:
Saad will likely slot in behind Gabriel Landeskog and Andre Burakovsky on the left side. Although the Avalanche are building a good stable of depth forwards, he likely won't be playing alongside someone with the offensive ability of Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane. Yet having another scorer in the lineup like Saad (if only for one season) should help the other scorers around him and build on an already powerful offense. Their favorable salary cap situation allows them to do this. Unfortunately, acquiring Saad might put the Avalanche out of the running for signing UFA Taylor Hall, unless additional roster moves are planned.
Meanwhile, Blackhawks fans are wondering why the Hawks are adding a defenseman when what they really need is a