Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks Sci-Fi Part II: Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa on the Same Line

By Tim Lively

Feb 25, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing

Marian Hossa

(81) makes a pass to left wing

Brandon Saad

(20) against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks Sci-Fi is a mini-series I’ll periodically be doing here on Blackhawk Up that is for fantastic hypotheticals. I consider the following speculation science fiction at this point because as of now, it’s pure fantasy, but who knows what the future will bring…

Since cementing his spot on our beloved Chicago Blackhawks’ roster, Brandon Saad’s style of play has drawn many comparisons to esteemed Hawks veteran Marian Hossa. Saad’s excellent two-way play, uncanny ability to generate and maintain offensive drives, and overall superior stick-handling skills have garnered him monikers such as Hossa’s Heir and Mini Hoss.

For Saad to be held in the same light as an accomplished journeyman of the NHL such as Hossa is certainly an honor, but it is also a tremendous opportunity, one the Hawks can ill afford to waste.

Don’t get me wrong, Hossa and Saad are doing mighty fine on their respective 1st and 2nd lines thus far this season. However, while Saad is playing well with Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw, he’s on a line that’s lacking veteran leadership. Even though Shaw and Kane are Stanley Cup champs like Saad, both are almost as young as him and occupy completely different niches on the team.

Thus, Saad stands to greatly benefit by skating with and emulating an accomplished veteran like Marian Hossa. Furthermore, while Saad has a very promising career ahead of him, he’s going have to learn how to make big plays so the Hawks can justify paying him the contract he’ll eventually demand, and who better to show him than Hoss?

We never know when Coach Joel Quenneville will hit the line blender, but we know he will, so why not toss Hoss and Saad on the same line? Frankly, I surprised it hasn’t happened already. If the Hawks really are serious about integrating Saad into the franchise’s foundation, which in all likelihood they will, then the organization needs to be serious about providing the 22-year-old forward with any available resources to help aid his development into a core player. Enter Marian Hossa.

Additionally, with Hossa’s career in the final chapter, Saad’s opportunity to benefit from Hoss’ wealth of experience and hockey knowledge is growing smaller by the day. If ever there was the makings for a true mentor – protege relationship on the Blackhawks, it’s Saad and Hossa.

What are the chances of this happening however? Again with Coach Q’s line blender, it’s anyones guess, but it does appear he wants to keep Hoss and Saad separate because they have such similar playing styles and niches. For Saad and Hossa to be lining up together, the stubborn Q-stache would have to change his current frame of mind about spreading the wealth on his lines. Here’s hoping this fantasy comes true…