Cleat Geeks

A Saad Farewell



saadAll the talk about how Brandon Saad would come back to the Hawks for less money turns out to be all a joke.  Saad said it himself that winning is more important.  Well after talks about his contract where both parties were “far apart” on an agreement, Stan Bowman made a decision to trade one of his young star forwards.

Brandon Saad has been a huge part of the Hawks since he joined the team in 2012.  He was a rising star and looked to add to the young Blackhawks core. He was yet another high draft pick that lived up to the hype.

Brandon Saad, 22, is already a two time Stanley Cup Champion in his young career.  He has the resume to make some money, but the Hawks just did not have enough.

The Blackhawks traded Brandon Saad Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Michael Paliotta to the Blue Jackets. In return, the Blackhawks will get center Artem Anisimov, center Marko Dano, winger Jeremy Morin, forward Corey Tropp, and a fourth round draft pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

This was a tough decision for Stan to make.  Saad deserves a pay raise, but it isn’t there in Chicago.  The report was that Saad wanted 6.5 million, which would have made him the third highest paid player on the team behind Kane and Toews.

columbus blue jackets-anisimov.vadaptThe Hawks acquired Artem Anisimov and Marko Dano from Columbus. Anismov, 27, posted seven goals and 20 assists in 52 games last season.  Marko Dano, 20, put up eight goals and thirteen assists last season.  Both players are centers and actually fit perfectly for the Hawks.  Antoine Vermette and Brad Richards will both be free agents and Anismov and Dano look to take their spots right away.

We all knew the Hawks would have to make moves but not this one.  Guys like Patrick Sharp, Bryan Bickell, Kris Versteeg were all known to be on the trading block but not Brandon Saad.  The Hawks knew their top priority this season was to re-sign Saad, and they tried, but the NHL is a business and not everything works out.

With a roster of Kane, Toews, Anisimov, Dano, Shaw, van Riemsdyk, Teravainen, Versteeg, Seabrook, Bickell, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Artemi, Panarin, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, David Rundblad, Scott Darling and Corey Crawford, the Blackhawks have about $73.5 million committed to 18 players. The salary cap is $71.4 million. –Scott Powers ESPN Chicago

krugerandthecupThe Chicago Blackhawks are going to resign Marcus Kruger so trading more players will have to happen.  Players like Sharp, Bickell, Versteeg look to be the first to go.  Sharp and Bickell are drawing interest from multiple teams already and moves should be coming in the next few days.

Johnny Oduya will test the free agent market leaving only four defensemen on the current roster.  Stan Bowmen may look to acquire a D-man or pick up one in free agency.

Here is Stan Bowman on the upcoming days:

“We’ve got a lot of options we can pursue now,” Bowman said Wednesday of his roster. “We’ve got a few different things. There are a lot of discussions that will happen over the next few days with free agency, and we’ve got a few different plans. It’s too early to tell what we’re going to do, but I would say everything is a possibility going forward.”

Losing Saad is a huge blow but it had to be done.  If the Hawks were to give him the 6.5 million a year he wanted, the Hawks would be losing too much for the immediate future.  The Hawks would still also have to re-sign Marcus Kruger and make a decision about Brent Seabrook.

The cap was so hard to predict and Bowmen and the Hawks suffered.  It’s tough to lose one of your top offensive productive forwards after he helped you win two cups.

Saad is off to Columbus where he may get his 6.5 million like he wants.  Saad is a star and should be for the rest of his career.  Could Saad Father return to the Hawks in the future, it’s a possibility?

As NHL free agency kicks off on July 1st, the Hawks will look upgrade the team and that may be losing some more key components. We will see what moves Stan will make but trust me Hawks fans, this guy knows what he is doing.

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