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What To Pay Brandon Saad

from Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Brandon Saad is going to be back. He’s going to get paid. The only question is how much.

A two-time Stanley Cup champion at 22 — not even Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane accomplished that feat — the 6-1, 204-pound Saad took another giant step forward on a career arc that seems destined for elite status as an NHL power forward in this year’s postseason.

Saad scored 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in 23 games. He scored the game-winning goal in a critical Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final as the Hawks avoided falling into a 3-1 hole. The Hawks were 7-1 when he scored a goal.

But like Marian Hossa, Saad’s contributions go far beyond the numbers. His strength with the puck, his defensive ability, his speed and his aggressiveness in utilizing that speed combine to give Saad a Hossa-like value that makes the Hawks the championship team they are.

Now comes the hard part. Saad will be a free agent in the offseason. Hawks general manager Stan Bowman has made it clear publicly that the Hawks are going to re-sign him. But even if other teams can’t sign Saad, they’re sure to do all they can to drive the price up and put an even bigger dent in the Hawks’ 2015-16 salary cap.

With the hard cap in the NHL, it’s a familiar quandary for key players on a championship team like the Hawks. The more they get paid, the less money there is for the supporting cast. It’s a delicate balance for players who know they only have a finite amount of years to make big money, yet appreciate being part of a championship team.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+saad



I’ll offer Saad a six-year or seven-year deal at $6.5M per year. It costs a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick if he signs (not outrageous at all).

If he stays in Chicago, they have to lose another player.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 06/16/15 at 11:55 AM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Ken Holland doesn’t get into bidding wars. That’s why he’s going to chat with Cleary, a player no one else wants. Ken Holland is unable to make a bold move. Saad resigns with Chicago. They lose another player, but they will still be one of the favorites to win the Cup next year. Meanwhile, Weiss experiment will continue and Franzen might play 10 games. Oh, and we are all supposed to be giddy that the playoff streak might continue. Right now, I think Ken Holland is the biggest thing holding this organization back.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 06/16/15 at 12:13 PM ET


I’ll offer Saad a six-year or seven-year deal at $6.5M per year. It costs a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick if he signs (not outrageous at all).

Are you really so adamant about helping Chicago stay good for a very long time?

Posted by Garth on 06/16/15 at 12:23 PM ET


WiNYC, I am starting to wonder about this very thing. I look at it two ways - 1, this team could very well be set up to have a chance to win now and in the medium-term future as well. Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan, Jurco and Abdelkader take young leadership roles and flesh out a top-9 that has tons of 200-foot and scoring depth, while our high-end prospects like Pulkkinen, Larkin, Mantha, AA, Ouellet, Marchenko and Bertuzzi begin to make a strong positive impact. The team gets a top-3 defenseman who helps. Mrazek and Howard contend for a Jennings Trophy. Datsyuk, Z and Kronwall continue to play well and stay healthy.

Detroit could win a Cup in the next two-three years and have Larkin and some other prospects emerge as true top-3 talent. Then, beyond that, perhaps they can build another nucleus that can win on the backs of Larkin, Pulkky, Tats, Nyquist and Mrazek.

OR, 2, the team, because of continued playoff berths and success combined with better and better global scouting, never gets the next set of elite players, including a defenseman, needed to win a Cup. Maybe Tomas Tatar and Nyquist are complementary players rather than leaders and the team never gets the next group of elite talent leadership with who is currently on the team and in the pipeline. My biggest fear is another 15 years of the team making it to the playoffs but continuing to lack the headline pieces needed to do damage in the playoffs. I could easily see Ken Holland letting this team drift into 10 more years of playoff berths with no appearances in the Cup finals.

I am not in the camp of thinking Holland is holding the team back just yet, but I am starting to truly wonder what is going to happen the next 10 years.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 06/16/15 at 12:36 PM ET


Garth, do you think that’s a good deal for Chicago? As in, them getting the draft picks? Or that getting Saad at that price would be a huge win for Chicago?

I want to make sure I understand your point.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 06/16/15 at 12:40 PM ET


I want to make sure I understand your point.

I am sure he is referring to the draft picks. 


Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 06/16/15 at 12:50 PM ET


Posted by VitoLambruski on 06/16/15 at 12:40 PM ET

I think them getting the draft picks would be great for them, and I also think that paying him $6.5M would be terrible for Detroit.

Posted by Garth on 06/16/15 at 01:11 PM ET


To be more clear, the combination of giving up a 1st a 2nd and a 3rd for him plus paying him $6.5M would be terrible, IMHO.

Posted by Garth on 06/16/15 at 01:33 PM ET


Garth, to counter, the guy has put up incredible numbers for a guy who is 22 years old. He’s like Abdelkader with 75% better skills.

He has the chance to be a significant top line player. He has two Cup rings. $6.5M you can live with if he keeps his current trajectory. In 4 years, it could look like a bargain.

A first, second and third round draft pick is significant compensation but let me ask you this, if you’re making a trade, would you trade three draft picks (1st, 2nd, 3rd) for a top-4 forward on a two-time championship team who is 22 years old and already putting up strong numbers? I’d make that trade pretty easily.

Look what the Coyotes got for Vermette. A rental got a first round pick and a pretty decent defense prospect. So is a second round and third round pick that much better than a B- prospect to get a player better than Vermette for 7 years who is 22 years old?

I guess my point is: If it were a trade rather than an offer sheet, I think that’s a very fair deal for a young, very talented player who has proven to be a significant 200 foot guy and contributor on championship teams.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 06/16/15 at 02:21 PM ET


I actually think you may have convinced me.

Posted by Garth on 06/16/15 at 03:01 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Okay, people (cough, cough morons)...he’s a RFA that is 2 years away from UFA: why do you think he’ll sign, let alone be offered a contract over that length?

Matt Duchene got 2 years for 7M (in 2012) when he was in Saad’s position. Accounting for the rise in the cap from ‘12-‘13 to now that deal would be about 4.15M per year. Saad by comparison should get less.

Based on the offer sheet compensation list for 2015 (est )
$5,478,986-to-$7,305,316 = 1st, 2nd, 3rd
$3,652,659-to-$5,478,986 = 1st and 3rd
$1,826,328-to-$3,652,659 = 2nd

I’d throw the agent an offer sheet for $ 3,652,658M for 2 years (2nd round tender only) just to drive up his price and squeeze some more cap space out of Chicago.

He’s coming off his EL Deal and this is his bridge contract to UFA so why not cause Chicago problems: they won’t have the cap space to retaliate for years. Detroit doesn’t have it’s own 2nd round pick so they lose a 2016 pick if on the off chance he signs.

It’s going to force Chicago to jettison some talent: and being how the Wings are looking for a #2 dman or top 6 forward that is not a bad thing as it drives down asking prices among competitors.

Posted by d ca on 06/16/15 at 03:05 PM ET


d_ca, the point here is: people can really squeeze Chicago, the champions. They are in a crunch already and are going to have to shed key players, via both UFA and trades. They’re in a tough spot.

So, the point is - and why many are speculating that this might be a year you see some real offer sheets - is that this can accomplish two things. First, you give a young guy a big offer, having faith it will be of reasonable value to your team if you end up signing him. So you hope you’ve just made a trade of three draft picks (first, second, third) for a 22-year-old forward who scored 52 points in 82 games this season plus 8 goals and 3 assists in 23 playoff games. He was considered one of the best players for Chicago. If you get your guy, you get a guy who already has basically 2 50-point seasons at age 22, for 7 years, and who hasn’t even hit his prime.

Or, the second thing is, Chicago has to match your offer. So now, instead of getting a 2-year bridge deal like Duchene got at a reasonable number under $4M per year, you force Chicago to have to dump another player they were expecting to keep.

To me, it’s win-win. The only downside is you’ve potentially made an enemy in Stan Bowman.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 06/16/15 at 03:45 PM ET


I’d throw the agent an offer sheet for $ 3,652,658M for 2 years (2nd round tender only) just to drive up his price and squeeze some more cap space out of Chicago.

So do you want to drive up his price for Chicago or do you want to get Brandon Saad? 

Because if you’re interested in getting Brandon Saad from Chicago then you’ve failed because they’ve got good players that they can move for picks.  Signing Saad to a $ 3,652,658M offer sheet just means that they maybe make one more trade than they were planning to, and they get to keep a solid piece of their puzzle.

And if you simply to make Chicago’s cap crunch even tighter then fine, but do you think Bowman is going to make a deal with the GM who screwed him over with the Saad offer sheet?

If you’re going to send an offer sheet Saad’s way then you’d better sign him to one that the Blackhawks won’t match because you’re making an enemy either way.

Not to mention that his agent probably knows that if there are any offer sheets coming, there’s definitely going to be a better one than $3,652,658M for two years.

Posted by Garth on 06/16/15 at 04:04 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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