Blackhawks thrilled by return in Brandon Saad trade


Blackhawks thrilled by return in Brandon Saad trade

We all knew there were going to be changes with the Blackhawks. Who knew Brandon Saad would be the biggest change?

But general manager Stan Bowman was already looking past what he lost on Tuesday night and what he gained after trading Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He got a second-line center, one that he’s wanted for a while. He got a young, up-and-coming player who can bring a physical game. And he got a player the Blackhawks organization knows well.

The Blackhawks got four players in what was a seven-player deal between them and the Blue Jackets for Saad on Tuesday: Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp. How Morin and Tropp fit into the equation remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt the first two could bring much to the Blackhawks’ roster.

Anisimov gives the Blackhawks the second-line center they’ve been looking to get for some time now. The 6-foot-4, 198-pound Anisimov is in the final year of his current contract. But Bowman has been talking to Anisimov’s agent and said that the center and the team are “close to completing an extension.”

[MORE BLACKHAWKS: Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad to Blue Jackets]

“To get this guy in the prime of his career, it’s someone we’ve been chasing for a long time,” Bowman said. “He fits in very nicely to our team. He’s able to play offensively as well as the penalty-killing role. He’s done a little of everything in his career. For our needs, to know we’ve got (Jonathan) Toews and Anisimov for years to come, that was a big part of this.”

Dano just finished his NHL rookie season with the Blue Jackets, recording eight goals and 13 assists in 35 games. Dano grew up in Trenčín, Slovakia, where Marian Hossa currently lives. Bowman said Dano is another player that impressed the Blackhawks brass from afar.

“He plays a high-energy game; he’s strong, competitive, physical. The goals he scores are from around the net, and he’s not afraid to go into the corners and battle,” Bowman said. “I haven’t had a chance to speak to him yet, but most of the young players in Slovakia idolize guys like Hossa. To play on a team with Marian, it’s been pretty well documented how (Hossa) has had a positive impact on a lot of our other players. Dano could be another guy along those lines. He’s a nice player to add to the mix we have, and he’ll surprise people with his all-around game.”

The big surprise out of this deal — well, other than the surprise of the deal itself, of course — was Morin coming back into the fold. He was clearly frustrated in his last few months with the Blackhawks, when his playing time was limited. Whether or not Morin even makes the roster this season is uncertain.

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“We don’t hand out jobs in the summer time. Those are won in camp,” Bowman said. “We have young players on the verge of being players, be it Corey or Jeremy or a combination of other players. In Jeremy’s case, come to camp, you have a lot of talent and we’ll see how he plays. Ultimately, the competition is going to come down to which guys deserves to be on the team.”

The Blackhawks have already made some big changes, even if they weren’t the changes we all envisioned a few weeks ago. Bowman said it was a difficult decision to trade Saad. But it was clear the two sides were not going to agree, and the Blackhawks wanted to get what they needed out of the deal.

“Sometimes you have to make moves. Although we traded away a really good player, we added two we’re very high on,” Bowman said. “We’re excited about the next chapter here and the players that we have.”

Blackhawks honor Dave Bolland with “One More Shift” Friday

Blackhawks honor Dave Bolland with “One More Shift” Friday

Former Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland will be honored with “One More Shift” on the ice at United Center this Friday prior to Hawks matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Bolland will stand with the team during the National Anthem and skate on ice in full gear. Along with time on ice, the United Center will also honor Bolland by showcasing his career highlights throughout the arena.

The Blackhawks will be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their 2010 Stanley Cup win at five games this season, coinciding with “One More Shift” nights to honor individual players.  The United Center Atrium doors will open at 4pm, giving fans a chance to look at the interactive photo opportunities and historical items on display. Bolland will participate in a Q&A in the atrium at 6:30 p.m. before he hits the ice.

Dave Bolland was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2004 and spent ten seasons of his NHL career in Chicago. Bolland played with the team during two Stanley Cup championships, scoring the game-winning goal in the final minute of Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals against the Bruins. Bolland played in all 22 playoff games in 2010, garnering 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) which shared fifth among Blackhawks skaters in the postseason. Bolland recorded his best season of his career during the 2008-09 campaign with the Blackhawks, skating in a career-high 81 regular-season games and recording career highs in goals (19), assists (28) and points (47).

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks show urgency vs. the undefeated

USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks show urgency vs. the undefeated

The Blackhawks finally got on the board for the season and did so in front of the 500th consecutive capacity crowd at the United Center.

Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis break down the impressive performance by the Blackhawks against the undefeated Edmonton Oilers and discuss how Jeremy Colliton’s message got through to Alex Nylander and the rest of the team.

Plus, after an impressive performance in net, should Corey Crawford get the next game vs. the Blue Jackets? And what does the future have in store for Kirby Dach? Jamal makes a bold prediction.

0:54 – Blackhawks finally show urgency in 2nd period

2:47 – Penalty kill starting to show some life

5:00 – Thoughts on the Shaw/Strome/Kane line

6:43 – Blackhawks eliminating some defensive breakdowns

9:23 – Big rebound performance from Corey Crawford

11:36 – Colliton’s message to Alex Nylander got through

15:21 – Brandon Saad has been a pleasant surprise early on

17:15 – Dominik Kubalik’s impressive performance

18:31 – Will Kirby Dach be with the Blackhawks all season?

22:42 – Does Crawford or Lehner start vs. the Blue Jackets?

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast


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