Trading Brandon Saad Is Not The Answer For The Blackhawks
By Jimmy Lynch
Brandon Saad has been linked as a potential trade candidate for the Chicago Blackhawks, but does that mean it is the best move for the team?
I am a little shocked that Saad’s name is really being tossed around as a viable trade candidate. Brandon Saad is one of the best all-around players the Blackhawks have on their roster. Not only is he a two-time Stanley Cup champion with one year remaining on a six million dollar deal, but he is also a relentless 200-foot player.
I understand the benefit of trading Saad. It gives the Blackhawks a lot of cap space to work with, and might even add an excellent asset to their organization considering how good Saad can be on an opposing team’s roster. No matter where Saad ends up next season, he is going to be effective.
Saad is a top-six forward that is great off the rush, but also relentless on the backcheck. He has an explosive speed that compares only to Marian Hossa and is a big reason the Blackhawks have found a way to bring back Jonathan Toews after a few bad seasons. Saad is vital to the Blackhawks penalty kill and was fifth on the team in takeaways at 40 during the regular season.
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With all that being said, Saad is a vital part of the future of this team, and trading him right now to dump some salary would be horrendous. The Blackhawks do need to clear some salary from their cap space, but they need to find another way to do it.
The 27-year-old winger registered five points (two goals and three assists) in the playoffs this past month. Hopefully, we will get to see Saad back in a Blackhawks uniform next season. The style of play he brings to the table is invaluable to the organization, and I believe they should keep him around for as long as possible.
With that being said, maybe the Blackhawks could explore selling him at the trade deadline this coming offseason if they believe they are not going to work a deal out with him next summer, but that is a while away.
As for right now, Brandon Saad is a future leader in this locker room. He is going to be a bridge from the Jonathan Toews/Patrick Kane era of the Blackhawks to the Kirby Dach/Adam Boqvist era. Hopefully, he can help provide some championship experience for the young group down the line.