Since returning to Chicago during the summer of 2017, Brandon Saad has fallen from grace at a rapid rate. Saad was re-acquired because he played a more physical game and brought more defense to the forward group. The former golden boy has become quite dull.
Many people, including myself, expected Saad to take back his old spot alongside Jonathan Toews on the first line, but that hasn’t happened.
He actually found himself on the third line for most of the 2018-19 season and was even healthy scratched a few times. Saad has been playing like a $6 mil 3rd line winger which has been tough to swallow.
When you see Panarin leading the Blue Jackets into the playoffs, it’s hard not to say that the Blackhawks lost the Saad-Panarin trade.
The big drop off in production from a guy who the Blackhawks were expecting to be a fixture in the team’s core should be seen as a failure. There’s still time to turn things around, but Saad’s seat could be the hottest of all the players on the Blackhawks’ roster.
Brandon Saad is still in his prime and he did bounce back with 47 points (23G, 24A) in 2018-19, so his trade value has seen a nice bump. Saad would probably be the easiest player to move right now. Maybe StanBo & Co. trade him to acquire a Top 4 defenseman.