Blackhawks News

Brandon Saad for Team USA

By Sean Fitzgerald

Oct 28, 2013; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward

Brandon Saad

(20) celebrates his goal during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this offseason the invites for Olympic training camps went out to all the NHL players. The Blackhawks received many camp invites for team Canada. Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Corey Crawford, and Jonathan Toews were the Canadian invites.

Team USA invited three Chicago Blackhawks to camp, Patrick Kane, Nick Leddy and Brandon Saad. As stated earlier in the two articles (Chicago Blackhawks Olympic Players & Chicago Blackhawks are Team Canada) Brandon Saad should be given a serious chance for Team USA. Despite being chiseled from stone at six foot and one inch tall, Saad was viewed as a dark horse candidate to make team USA.

Saad could have struggled out of the gate this season.  Saad and the Blackhawks could have suffered from a Stanley Cup Hangover. Saad could have come out sluggish because of the short offseason.  Saad could have succumbed to the pressure of being the new second line center. Saad did not struggle or succumb to any of those things. After the failed experiment as a center, Saad has settled in on the wing of the second line with Brandon Pirri and Patrick Kane.

This season Saad has emerged from the shadows and into the spotlight. Former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman and analyst Steve Konroyd has been making the case verbally for Saad. During Blackhawks games Konroyd has trumpeted Saad’s play this season. Konroyd is a trusted NHL analyst and a former Blackhawks defenseman, people should agree with his opinion.

Saad’s play has done the talking this season. In case people missed it Saad put up impressive numbers last season. In 46 games last season, Saad scored 10 regular season goals and had 17 assists.  In the playoffs Saad 1 goal and five assists, his lone goal coming in Game one of the Stanley Cup finals. He was also a Calder Cup finalist. This season Saad has scored four goals and has six assists on the season in ten games.

Team USA would be wise to bring Saad on the team. He has proven in 56 regular season games and 23 playoff games that the moment is not too big for him. Saad has played on lines with superstars Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, and Jonathan Toews. He can adapt his game to superstar players.

If people believe Saad would shrink from the moment of playing in the Olympics, they have not watched him play! Brandon Saad should be a lock for team USA.

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