Chicago Blackhawks: Is Brandon Saad on his way out?
By Ryan Fedrau
There have been rumors about the Chicago Blackhawks trading away Brandon Saad. Is trading Saad away for the second time worth it?
If the Chicago Blackhawks are going to trade Brandon Saad, they have to do it this season. Saad’s contract runs through 2021, but the last year of his deal has a modified no-movement-clause. That modified clause lists 10 teams of his choosing that he can be traded to.
Saad’s contract is $6,000,000 AAV of the Blackhawks salary cap this season. They already have $13,068,333 AAV opened up because of injuries to Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw, and Calvin de Haan.
In the summer, the Blackhawks will open up around $10,645,705 towards their cap. If they get rid of Saad, they’ll have $16,645,705 to spend.
Look, Saad hasn’t been as productive with the Blackhawks as he was with the Blue Jackets. He put up 106 points in two seasons with the Blue Jackets. In his first two and a half seasons back with the Blackhawks, he has just 110 points. He’s downgraded since his return to the Blackhawks.
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Since Saad could fit in on any contending team and make a difference, the Blackhawks could get a future first or second-round draft choice. The question becomes, how aggressive would Stan Bowman be if he’s trading Saad?
If he goes to a team like the Maple Leafs who need to add a two-way forward, he could add a lot to that team. He also would fit well in his hometown team, the Penguins. One last team I could see them going to is the Bruins. The Bruins are another team that needs to add a two-way forward to their lineup.
Saad has been a key part of many Blackhawks’ championship teams, but he hasn’t had the same success since returning. He’s still young and could be a solid player for a different team, but the Blackhawks have other needs to fill. Opening up $6,000,000 to the cap could pay Dylan Strome.
If the Blackhawks can get a first or second-round pick from a team, they should trade Saad. If they can’t get much for him, they’ll have to keep him. We’ll see what Stan Bowman does with him. I don’t think he’ll be traded. I think the Blackhawks are going to stay quiet at the deadline.
Bowman doesn’t want to get rid of key depth players if he believes the team will be good next season. Saad is a key player in the Blackhawks’ success when he plays well. If Saad survives past Monday, he’ll be on the 2021 Blackhawks.