After two long years with the Columbus Blue Jackets and John Tortorella, Brandon Saad is back at home with the Chicago Blackhawks.
While Artemi Panarin had great chemistry with Patrick Kane, Saad is arguably more valuable to the Blackhawks.
When Saad was traded away, Blackhawks fans and other hockey circles were quick to point out that he wouldn’t be as good with Columbus because he spent most of his time with Toews and Hossa on the first line.
Saad answered his critics with two straight 53 point seasons, even surviving Tortorella’s nonsensical coaching methods. Tortorella would bench Saad or relegate him to the fourth line at times, Quenneville’s dog house isn’t even that bad!
Saad is the complete hockey player package; skates hard and fast, defensively reliable, finishing scoring touch and hard to knock off the puck. With those tools, The Blackhawks needed to have Saad back in the fold to reignite Toews and anchor down the first line.
With Hossa out of the lineup this year Saad is one of the few players that can fill that gap. I’m totally aware that Hossa can’t just be “replaced” Saad can still provide that same stability and presence.
The Saad – Toews – Panik line can be a force to be reckoned with this season.
” That guy [Hossa] means a lot to a lot of people. For me to come in as a young guy especially, he’s a guy I’ve looked up to. I think he plays the game the way I want to play the game.”
Stan Bowman ultimately brought Saad back because he’s cost controlled at $6 million a year over 4 years and only 24 years old. There was absolutely no way the Blackhawks could afford Panarin’s contract after 2 years when his asking price will likely be over $7 million.
If the past two years and this year’s preseason is any indication, Saad is ready to have the best season of his career back at home with the Blackhawks and once again fans can KNEEL BEFORE SAAD.