Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks Ex-Forward Brandon Saad Has “No Regrets”

By Sean Fitzgerald
Sep 14, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Team North America F Brandon Saad (20) at the face-off circle against Team Czech Republic during the third period in a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at CONSOL Energy Center. Team Czech Republic won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Team North America F Brandon Saad (20) at the face-off circle against Team Czech Republic during the third period in a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at CONSOL Energy Center. Team Czech Republic won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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The youngster whose cost couldn’t be afforded by the Chicago Blackhawks is OK with how things turned out

The World Cup of Hockey has brought together players who do not normally play together in the NHL, and others who normally do not play together in international play (Team North America and Team Europe).

The World Cup of Hockey also brought back together Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman and former Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad. Both Bowman and Saad are members of Team North America.

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This is the first time they have been together since Saad’s asking price was way too high for the Blackhawks in the summer of 2015, and Bowman traded him to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In the Saad deal, there were seven players exchanged. Bowman sent Saad, Michael Paliotta and Alex Broadhurst to the Blue Jackets for Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a fourth-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft.

"Bowman commented on Saad: “It’s great to have him part of the group,” Bowman said. “We had a lot of success together. He was a great member of the Blackhawks. You share those moments and the Stanley Cup victories and the times you never forget. He’s a great kid.”"

Since leaving Chicago, Saad has stated he no longer takes success for granted. Saad’s new team, Columbus, was last in the Metropolitan Division and one of the worst teams in the NHL last season.

During Saad’s tenure with the Blackhawks, they won two Stanley Cup championships and went to the Western Conference finals. The ’Hawks also never finished below third in their Division.

But it’s not the end of the world for Saad

Despite the poor year in Columbus, Saad still remains positive.

"“It was a tough year hockey-wise last year with Columbus, but a lot of players go through that,” Saad said. “You always want to be … on the winning side of the game but at the same time, I don’t have any regrets.”"

Sadd should not have any regrets with his decision to leave the Blackhawks. His decision (Bowman traded him because he couldn’t afford him) was purely financially driven. In a sport that is very physical and demanding on his body, who could blame Saad for choosing money over winning?

The real question is how much money is enough. Saad’s magic number was $6 million a year for six years, a number the salary cap-strapped Blackhawks could not afford.

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Looking back on the trade from Bowman’s perspective, does he have any regrets? The Blackhawks got Anisimov, their elusive second-line center, and eventually Richard Panik for Saad.

As much as I loved Saad, Bowman should not regret his trade. Bowman is tasked with the longer-term future of the Blackhawks. Saad at the price did not fit into the Blackhawks’ plans.

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