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Saad traded to Avalanche by Blackhawks for Zadorov

Forward has scored at least 20 goals in five of past six seasons; defenseman had 13 points in 64 games

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Brandon Saad traded to Colorado

Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad to Avalanche

The Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad and Dennis Gilbert to the Avalanche in exchange for Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm

  • 01:57 •

Brandon Saad was traded to the Colorado Avalanche by the Chicago Blackhawks for Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm on Saturday.

Chicago also sent defenseman Dennis Gilbert to Colorado as part of the trade. The Blackhawks will retain $1 million of Saad's $6 million salary this season.

"Well, yeah, [I] definitely have memories [in Chicago], I had a lot of success, but at the end of the day it's all part of the [business]," Saad said Monday about being traded. "You know that going in, being a pro hockey player. Going through it before, it makes it easier the second time around, especially going to a team that's going to compete for a championship every year."

 

[RELATED: 2020-21 NHL Trade Tracker]

 

Saad scored 33 points (21 goals, 12 assists) in 58 regular-season games with Chicago last season and five points (two goals, three assists) in nine postseason games. The forward has scored at least 21 goals in five of the past six seasons, including an NHL career-high 31 with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2015-16. He won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015; after four seasons, they traded him to the Blue Jackets on June 30, 2015. He was traded back to the Blackhawks on June 23, 2017.

"We're extremely happy to have Brandon with us," Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said. "He's a guy we've watched for years and we think he's going to be a great fit as one of our top six. We feel like we've solidified our top-six group, and also our bottom six, so we're pretty content with the depth we that have up front, for sure.

"He's a really good two-way player. He goes to the net, he gets his goals. We have a lot of great shooters, perimeter shooters, but he'll be getting to the net, getting those dirty goals. He's a versatile player, could play anywhere in the lineup, and we think it's going to be a great addition."

Saad, who has one season remaining on a six-year, $36 million contract he signed with Columbus on July 3, 2015, said he'd be open to discussing an extension with the Avalanche.

"I haven't really thought about it. It's a bit of a whirlwind dealing with selling the house in Chicago, moving the family and looking at real estate in Colorado," Saad said. "But Colorado's always been on my list as a team where I could see myself playing for a long time, with just the talent and a great hockey team. I hear great things about the city as well. I mean, like I said, it's early to tell, but definitely something I would look forward to playing [there] for a long time."

Saad said he believes that he's joining the Avalanche just as they are becoming a true Stanley Cup contender. Colorado lost in seven games to the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season.

"I know in Chicago, when we were winning, [the Avalanche] weren't at their peak, but they were a growing, good young hockey team," he said. "Now years later, it's a tough team to play against and a tough building to go into. It's kind of reverse effect. I'm happy to be a part of them at the peak now, playing with some great players and having a chance to win every year."

Zadorov, a 25-year-old defenseman, was a restricted free agent but signed his qualifying offer of $3.2 million before the trade. He scored 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 64 regular-season games with Colorado last season and five points (three goals, two assists) in 15 postseason games. The 25-year-old ranked seventh in the NHL among defensemen with 175 hits.

Video: Saad traded to Avs in a four-player deal with Hawks

"I was definitely super excited when I heard the news," Zadorov said. "It's a fresh new opportunity for me to get on another level in my game. I think there's still lots of things I can do better, but I haven't reached yet. I think my peak is still a long way ahead of me. 

"I got a text from Patrick Kane right after I got traded. He said he's really exited he doesn't have to play against me anymore. I feel like it's a really good thing to hear from one of the best players in the world. My biggest goal is I can play against top lines and that's what I want to bring to this team, to play big minutes, play in big situations and try to shut down the best players on the opposite team."

Lindholm, another 25-year-old defenseman, had one assist in four NHL games this season and scored three points (one goal, two assists) in 45 games with Colorado of the American Hockey League.

"I think a big thing for me is to make me hard to get moved out of the lineup is to probably contribute more on the offensive side of the puck," Lindholm said. "I feel like my defensive skill and play is good enough and has been, but I think just being more involved in the whole play of the rink and probably use my skating more to be more of a threat in the rush too. But also keep being reliable on nightly basis to do that defensive work and hopefully play on the penalty kill, too."

Gilbert scored three points (one goal, two assists) in 21 NHL games last season as a rookie. The 23-year-old also scored seven points (one goal, six assists) in 30 games with Rockford of the AHL.

NHL.com staff writers Tracey Myers and Tom Gulitti contributed to this report

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