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Scotty Bowman: Saad should be on Olympic team

Jan 2, 2014, 1:57 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) celebrates scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers during the third period of an NHL hockey game on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Chicago, Ill. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles) AP

Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad is only in his sophomore season, but legendary coach Scotty Bowman still thinks he should have made Team USA’s Olympic roster.

“He should be [on the team],” Bowman told ESPN’s Craig Custance (paywall). “He’s really coming on. He’s got 14 goals. He doesn’t play crazy minutes yet. He’s going to be an all-around player. He’s just got it. He’s strong on his feet. You can see his strength building up all the time.”

Scotty Bowman’s son, Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman, was part of the selection committee. Like his father, the younger Bowman thinks highly of Saad and spoke in support of him throughout the process, based on an ESPN report.

In the end, Blake Wheeler and T.J. Oshie were only narrowly picked over Saad, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Blackhawks forward get serious consideration as an injury replacement if the United States needs one.

It would certainly make some sense, especially given that Saad already has developed on-ice chemistry with Patrick Kane and that kind of familiarity can be very valuable in the Olympics. His lack of experience is knock against him, but then again, he did play a significant role in Chicago’s 2013 Stanley Cup championship.

For now though, all Saad can do is continue to serve the Blackhawks and let whatever happens, happen.

  1. esracerx46 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Oshie has 6 goals…6!! Saad has 14. High school math says Saad has had a better scoring touch. Wheeler has 15 so far, his career best was 21.

    • shamu1the1whale - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      I totally agree!

    • wretchu - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      While yes you have a point about Saad being a much better goal scorer than Oshie, the problem is that you were sent that route because of the author’s horrible decision to even mention Oshie’s goal scoring as a factor. Yes, Oshie has some moves as you’ll often see when he’s in a shootout, but the fact is he’s a MUCH better facilitator and playmaker. This year Oshie is up to 27 assists this year, good for 9th in the league which also gives him 33 points to Saad’s 30.

      The kid is immensely talented without a doubt, but you can’t play a real game of hockey like it’s fantasy. You can’t have ALL goal scorers; you’ve also gotta have setup men.

  2. jpelle82 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    i agree totally, i think the only reason oshie made it was because of backes. team usa is looking for chemistry more than anything else it seems. kessel/jvr, backes/oshie, stepan/callahan, orpik/martin lots of team mates making it together and only 14 of 30 nhl teams represented.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      Indeed, jpelle, many people seem to need repeated reminders that this is not an all-star team, but a team, a team that will have little time to practice and jell before being tossed into the ocean to sink or swim as a team!
      And they seem to also need repeated reminders that no one was snubbed (the word means disdainfully rejected; ie: the GM saying, “he sucks and I would never want him if it was a 300 man roster”). There just isn’t room for 40 guys on the team.

  3. lowenni - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    I think his quiet postseason last year didn’t help his case. I think Saad’s gonna be a great player, maybe in the mold of Andrew Ladd (with less physicality) who can just do everything. That being said I think Oshie and Wheeler’s size and reach got them on the team over saad. It was really a toss up between Saad and Wheeler. Either way, it was just a depth spot and Wheelers size just give him that little edge.

  4. homegrowntalentmn - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Total snub! Along with okposo, bishop, b ryan and jack johnson…. they really gave spots to Callahan, stepan, p martin. I get the dustin brown selection… but I think they’re are more deserving players. Whats with all the injured players on the team!? Give the job back to burke

    • jpelle82 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      john tavares is canadian so okposo is worthless to the US team.

      • homegrowntalentmn - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:01 PM

        thee stupidest comment ever!

  5. homegrowntalentmn - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    i agree with saad being snubbed but your calling out the wrong players… oshie is a beast!! and wheeler is having a breakout year.. call out poli for selecting callahan, stepan and p martin. either there injured or way under preforming..

  6. pensman29 - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Paul Martin might be USAs top d man so…

    • upper90cheese - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      If by top you mean bottom than I agree.

  7. rendy0212 - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    The selection decisions don’t end with Dan Bylsma but in this case I think it was a matter of picking a veteran over a young guy. Dan routinely picks veterans over young guys on the Pens. Case in point Deryk Engelland plays night in and night out despite the Pens wealth of top end defensive talent. Can’t really blame him either for wanting veterans in a short tournament format. Additionally though you want strong skaters for that same reason and that makes me question Orpik’s selection. He may prove me wrong but I think he’s not going to fare well on the wider surface.

  8. homegrowntalentmn - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    MINNESOTA has the best hockey players!

  9. pfhockey - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    Oshie skates better, hits harder, better hands, very responsible defensively. I think oshie will play on the bottom six and so would Saad So I think they needed a better defensive forward. Of course I’m not sure how much bias was in Scotty’s statement as his son manages the Hawks so…I would have loved for Saad to make the team too though, He and Kane are teammates but not linemates.

  10. benrob99 - Jan 3, 2014 at 1:43 AM

    Orpik is a MUCH worse selection than Martin. Martin can skate, moves the puck very well and is solid in his own end.

    I really like Oshie and am glad he made it. But, I agree with Bowman you have to find a spot for Saad. But as someone else said Disco probably wouldn’t play him anyhow seeing as he’s not a “gritty veteran”. Rumor has it Bylsma is trying to find a way to make Craig Adams an American citizen before Sochi.

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