Editorials

What is Brandon Saad’s Future With the Chicago Blackhawks?

By Samuel Boland
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 06: Brandon Saad #20 of the Chicago Blackhawks shoots the puck in the first period during the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on January 6, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 06: Brandon Saad #20 of the Chicago Blackhawks shoots the puck in the first period during the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on January 6, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks are in the middle of a retool, trying to regain their contender status sooner rather than later. With multiple problematic contracts I’ve began to wonder: what is Brandon Saad’s future with the Chicago Blackhawks?

The Chicago Blackhawks are bad, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. It’s a fair bet that the ‘Hawks at the start of next season will look significantly different than they do at this point in time.

The Blackhawks have a significant amount of cap room this offseason and could have their targets set high on players like Artemi Panarin and Mark Stone.

Additionally, if guys like Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat, Henri Jokiharju and a handful of other up and coming Blackhawks defensemen pan out the way we hope they do, the ‘Hawks will have some serious money to hand out over the next few seasons.

Then, considering Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are making a combined $12.4 million while signed through the next five and six seasons, respectively, things could get a little complicated.

So, who will come and who will go?

Keith and Seabrook will be hard to move, but a sweetener could ease that transaction. Anyone who isn’t an integral part of this retool could (and should) be expendable at this point (Chris Kunitz and John Hayden are rumored to have interest, read more on that here).

Considering all of that, I’ve began to question: what exactly is Brandon Saad‘s future with this team?

Brandon Saad and Chicago

The two of them have had an interesting relationship, to say the least. Saad played an integral role in the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup championship seasons in 2013 and 2015. He was then traded in the summer following 2015 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In the following season Artemi Panarin arrived in Chicago and formed one of the most dominant lines in hockey playing with Patrick Kane.

Unfortunately, Jonathan Toews struggled in Saad’s absence so Stan Bowman traded Panarin for Saad in an effort to reignite Toews.

That didn’t exactly go as planned.

Saad has struggled since returning to Chicago and experienced one of his worst season statistically, second only to his rookie year.

This season he’s been a much more productive player, however he’s looked best when playing a third line, checking role.

$6 million dollars a season is a little much for a bottom-nine-at-best forward.

That isn’t to say Saad can’t regain his first line production — he certainly has the potential to do so — but just how patient will Bowman be with the forward?

As of now, Saad’s future with Chicago looks a bit cloudy.

The Chicago Blackhawks will be spending some serious money over the next few seasons and moving Saad’s contract could be a smart decision. If they lock in a top-three pick this offseason and are active in the free agent market, Saad might not be a necessity for the Blackhawks roster.

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Next. A Deeper Look at Dominik Kubalik. dark

Their biggest need at this point is a defensemen and if I were Bowman I’d certainly be open to moving him for one.

Time, as it usually does, will tell.

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