Brandon Saad has one year left with the Chicago Blackhawks before he becomes a free agent. Does he re-sign with the team or will Saad be gone after the 2020-21 NHL season?
Brandon Saad will be paid $6,500,000 next season, with $6,000,000 of his base salary going against the Chicago Blackhawks salary cap. That’s a lot of money to spend on a bottom-six forward. Will Saad be back in Chicago after his contract expires?
Well, should Saad be re-signed? Yes, he should be re-signed by the Blackhawks. Just not for $6,000,000.
Saad is overpaid right now for his current spot on the Blackhawks roster. He’s good enough to be a top-six forward on many NHL rosters, the problem with Chicago is, their forward depth isn’t great. If they could add more depth, Saad would be a top-six forward again.
Even though he improved as a player in 2019-20, there’s still a long way to go before he is ever worth $6,000,000 per year.
When I think about it, there’s no good reason to let Saad walk. If the Blackhawks can’t come to a fair agreement when they talk a contract extension, trading him might be their best interest. The question then is, how much could they get for Saad?
If Bowman plays his cards right, he could get a first-round pick from a desperate team. That probably only happens if he waits until the trade deadline. If they traded him, they’d have to eat some of his $6,000,000 for just one season to open up more possibilities.
Keeping some of his contract doesn’t hurt Chicago, as it would only be for the 2020-21 NHL season.
I could see Saad playing with Pittsburgh or Boston in his near future. The Penguins are his home town team with the Bruins being Stanley Cup contenders, looking for that last piece on their Stanley Cup journey.
Still, there’s still time to figure everything out. A Saad trade could even include a solid prospect and a draft pick. As long as the Blackhawks don’t give up too much to get nothing in return, I’m fine with a Saad trade.