The Chicago Blackhawks greatly underperformed during the 2019-20 season. Their roster was a playoff team on paper, on the ice, they weren’t.
Add Forward Depth
If the Chicago Blackhawks want to be competing for a playoff spot in 2020-21, they have to work on their forward depth. The Blackhawks have a complete lack of bottom-six talent, something I have been hammering home for a few months now.
Part of it comes from paying players too much. Brandon Saad, for example, is paid $6,000,000 to play a bottom-six role for Chicago. That doesn’t help them create forward depth if there isn’t money being spent anywhere else.
The Blackhawks could get two solid bottom-six players for $6,000,000. Instead, they have thrown that money all in the Saad basket.
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Don’t get me wrong, Saad has played well this season, compared to others. He still isn’t a $6,000,000 player. He is worth somewhere in the $4,000,000 range. I don’t blame him for signing the contract, I would have too.
Rumors of Saad being traded come up often. Would the trade make sense? Potentially. It depends on what Chicago gets back in return.
I would personally keep Saad since there is just one year left on his deal. Hopefully, the Blackhawks could structure a cheaper deal with Saad, where he can remain here for the future, just not eat away at all of their salary cap.
Once they can get Saad’s contract under control, the team can add assets. If the team added two or three depth forwards to their roster, Saad could play a top-six role with the Blackhawks again.