Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

For The Blackhawks, Trading Saad Was Ultimately Best Move

If the playoffs are any indication, Brandon Saad is going to be a heck of a player. At 22 years old, you can see the star potential each and every time he stepped onto the ice. The Columbus Blue Jackets, who acquired the Pittsburgh born Saad, have added another young piece to an already impressive core.

For the Chicago Blackhawks, they lose out on a crucial member of their latest Stanley Cup winning team for a group of players that may or may not make the same impact that Saad did in his time with the team.

But write it down, Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks were better off making this trade.

With the most recent playoffs still in the recent memory banks, it has to be a hard concept to grasp. Salary cap restrictions have made it necessary for Chicago to break down their team and retool for another run at the Cup, but the hope was that Saad would be one of the pieces that they would hold on to.

While it is still unclear just how much the Saad’s camp was looking for on a new contract, but some talk had been of them looking for as much as $6.5 million over six years – a number though that has been denied by his agent.

Chicago Blackhawks: Trading Saad The Best For Franchise

Regardless, Saad was getting ready to cash in and by trading him the Blackhawks avoided the same mistake that is still haunting the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ray Shero fell in love with each and every member of his core, and handed out big contract after big contract until they ended up in the mess they are still in – too much money locked into too few players, with no room to add any depth.

Sure the Blackhawks could have dumped the contracts of Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell – if they were desperate, for next to nothing – and saved nearly $10 million in process to put towards Saad, plenty to keep him in town for the next however many years they sign him.

The fact remains though, that Sharp and Bickell’s contract was only through the end of 2016-2017 season – they weren’’t a part of the long term plans.

Who are in the long term plans? Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Marian Hossa – who collectively will cost the team $26.275 million against the salary cap. Add in Saad’s contract? At his reported asking price of $6.5 million a year, four forwards would take up 45.8% of the team’s salary cap.

Even without Sharp and Bickell’s contract, that is next to impossible to field an evenly competitive team that has a chance to continually compete for the Stanley Cup.

Saad is an emerging dominant power forward, coming off a season in which he scored 52 points (23 G, 29 A) in 82 games during the regular season, and then chipping in eight more goals during the playoffs. But the stress signing him would have put on the salary cap would have been so much that not even the cap savvy Blackhawks could have overcome.

It stings now, and his absence will likely be noticeable in the upcoming season, but if any team can ultimately overcome the loss of a player like Saad it will be the team that has proven time in and time again to be the model franchise when it comes to operating under the salary cap.


More Posts

Send Us A Message