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Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad to Blue Jackets

Brandon Saad celebrates after scoring against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center.

Brandon Saad celebrates after scoring against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center.

(Anthony Souffle / Chicago Tribune)

After saying all season there was no way he would let restricted free agent Brandon Saad go, Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman traded the rising star to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

The Hawks sent Saad, fellow forward Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Michael Paliotta to the Blue Jackets in exchange for forwards Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp and a fourth-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Bowman said he was negotiating with Saad’s agent, Lewis Gross, but the sides could not come to an agreement.

“We both tried hard to make it work,” Bowman said. “It just wasn’t going to work in this scenario. I don’t think we ever came close on a contract.”

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With the possibility of an offer sheet from another team, Bowman got what he could for Saad and raved about Anisimov in particular, saying he will strengthen the Hawks up the middle.

“He’s a player we’ve been trying to acquire for quite some time,” Bowman said. “I talked a long time about our desire to find a big centerman. There’s very few of them in the NHL. You just look around to 30 teams and to be able to get a guy in the prime of his career at 6-foot-4 who can do a little bit of everything, it’s someone we’ve been chasing for a long time and we were finally able to acquire him.”

ckuc@tribpub.com

Twitter @ChrisKuc

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