The Russian native has 61 goals and 90 assists in 162 games in the National Hockey League since coming over from the KHL.
"I mean obviously we didn't know until we began negotiating where they were going to be", Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said.
"It's a complete failure when you measure it against the expectations that we have of ourselves", Bowman said.
The Blackhawks received defenseman Connor Murphy and center Laurent Dauphin from the Coyotes [for Hjalmarsson]. The former 43rd overall pick is a year younger than Panarin, has playoff success under his belt and figures to be more of a long-term fit for the Blackhawks from a financial perspective.
The deal includes draft-pick compensation - a sixth-round pick to Columbus and a fifth-rounder to Chicago - and also has the Blackhawks sending forward Tyler Motte to Columbus for goalie Anton Forsberg.
Panarin, much smaller than Saad at five-foot-11, 170 pounds, gives Columbus another 30-goal man, joining Cam Atkinson, who scored 35 goals in 2016-17.
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The 24-year-old Saad spent his first four seasons with Chicago, helping the Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups.
But the departure of Hjalmarsson and Panarin creates two more holes that need to be filled.
In a statement released by the Blackhawks, Bowman noted how Panarin, the 2015 recipient of the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top rookie, made a seamless transition to the league. The deal with the Coyotes brings back a promising young defenseman in the 24-year-old Murphy, who had two goals and a career-high 15 assists in 77 games with Arizona last season.
As for the financials, Hjalmarsson has two years remaining on a five-year, $20.5 million deal with a $4.1M average annual cap hit. Following up that impressive showing in his sophomore year, Panarin scored 31 goals and 74 points in 82 games and earned himself a two-year contract extension that would pay him $6 million per season set to kick in at the start of the 2017-18 season. "It means a lot to me that Stan Bowman has put the trust in the trade, believing that I can help the team".