Panarin will now join a team in Columbus that appears to be on the cusp of something special while Saad rejoins his old team in Chicago.
As if all that activity wasn't enough, the Hawks also turned around and traded defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for two younger players.
Panarin was due to be a restricted free agent this summer, but signed a bargain two-year deal worth US$12 million in December.
The 30-year-old Hjalmarsson had spent his entire 10-year career with Chicago, where he had 23 goals and 120 assists in 623 career games along with the franchise record for most playoff games played by a Blackhawks defenseman at 128.
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Plus, as TSN's Frank Seravalli notes, some of Chicago's veterans might have vouched for his return, letting it be known "how much they missed Saad".
The native of Eksjo, Sweden, has played in 623 career National Hockey League regular-season games with the Hawks and has accumulated 23 goals and 120 assists for 143 points. The Russian native has 61 goals and 90 assists in 162 games in the National Hockey League since coming over from the KHL. And while Saad is not in the same category of defensive player, he does play a 200-foot game and had a ton of success in Chicago, where he won two Stanley Cups.
Hjalmarsson finished with five goals and 13 assists in 73 games last season, while Panarin had 31 goals and 43 assists while playing in all 82 games.
The Edmonton Oilers, meanwhile, finally traded scoring winger Jordan Eberle to NY for Ryan Strome and extra cap space for looming contracts to Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. It also decided against re-signing captain Shane Doan after 21 years with the franchise, and then announced Thursday that Dave Tippett was out after eight seasons in a mutual agreement between the coach and the franchise. He's a warrior who played a key role in Chicago's last three Stanley Cup wins.
Chicago will try to replace Hjalmarsson, a sneaky piece on defence, with Murphy, who's six years younger with contractual control ($3.85 million cap hit) for five more seasons.