Blackhawks’ Trading of Brandon Saad Shows Free-Agent Dynamic Changing in NHL

June 30th, 2015 by Dave Lozo Leave a reply »

It’s as if after years of honoring unwritten rules and being too timid to confront the establishment, the NHL is becoming a place where prized restricted free agents on teams facing salary-cap issues are no longer impervious to offer sheets.

Or at least, the threat of offer sheets.

That’s great news for the league as a whole—not so much for the Chicago Blackhawks.

According to, the Blackhawks traded Brandon Saad, a 22-year-old RFA thought to be a big piece of Chicago's future, along with two prospects to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday in exchange for Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Corey Tropp, Jeremy Morin and a fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft.

This deal comes on the heels of the Boston Bruins shipping 22-year-old RFA defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames for draft picks in another move involving a team lacking cap space that was having a hard time signing its young rising star. 

There have been just three offer sheets signed since 2008 and all were matched. Be it the fear of retaliation or just a quiet understandin ...

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