Big Z, Nikita Zadorov, is an Av no more. The popular but mercurial Russian defenseman was traded just now by the Avs to the Chicago Blackhawks, along with defenseman Anton Lindholm, for left wing Brandon Saad and 23-year-old defenseman Dennis Gilbert.
The trading of Zadorov was expected. His contract was up, and the Avs just didn’t want to go long-term extension with him, especially with young defensemen coming up such as Bo Byram and Conor Timmins. He was also in and out of coach Jared Bednar’s doghouse over the years.