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CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks have traded forward Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a seven-player deal.
The 22-year-old Saad set career highs with 23 goals and 29 assists in 82 games this past season. The rugged winger then helped the Blackhawks to their third Stanley Cup title in six seasons.
Saad was eligible for restricted free agency, and Chicago is trying to manage its salary cap with twin extensions for captain Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane kicking in for next season.
The Blackhawks also sent forward Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Michael Paliotta to the Blue Jackets for forwards Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp and a fourth-round selection in the 2016 draft.
The 27-year-old Anisimov had seven goals and 20 assists in 52 games for the Blue Jackets last season.