Jul 19, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
As much as the near-league-wide jealousy of the Chicago Blackhawks come from watching elite talents like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith, there’s also that contingent that winces at the fact that they have up-and-comers like Brandon Saad commanding less than an $800K cap hit.
Of course, Saad faces a golden opportunity to make much more than that. His current deal expires after the 2014-15 season. While that uncertainty could stand as stressful, he seems pretty easy-going about it, at least if he’s being honest to CSNChicago.com.
“Obviously it would be nice to get it done and have that out of the way, I guess, instead of focusing it on the year. But if it doesn’t happen there’s not much you can do. You play the season,” Saad said. “Hopefully it happens during the year and, if not, next summer. So we still have quite a bit of time to get it done, and we’ll see when it happens.”
Saad will turn 22 early next season (Oct. 27), so he’ll be a restricted free agent for some time, limiting some of his leverage as far as this next contract is concerned.
Even so, he could really drive up his value with a strong 2014-15 campaign. Saad scored 19 goals and 47 points in 78 games last season and was even more impressive in the postseason, collecting 16 points in 19 playoff games. If he can stick on a line with Patrick Kane – certainly a possibility after all the promise seen with a combo alongside Andrew Shaw – he could really enjoy a breakthrough year.
Really, Saad might be wise to play through the season. After all, even Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman admitted that “we haven’t seen the best” of what he could do.
Bowman must have conflicting feelings about this situation. Watching Saad progress could be a thrill, yet with dual $10.5 million cap hits kicking in for Kane and Toews beginning in 2015-16, a big hike from Saad may really smart.
Then again, maybe it’s best just to follow Saad’s lead: “All that stuff will take care of itself.”
- Here’s who’s left after Day 1 of free agency 9
- PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker 38
- Getting clutch? Capitals sign Justin Williams for two years, $6.5M 15
- Coyotes bring back Vermette with two-year deal 31
- Bruins sign Beleskey for five years, despite some warning signs 44
- Kessel trade shows Leafs are trying to ‘build this thing the right way’ 28
- Green signs with Red Wings — 3 years, $18 million 24
- ‘It’s hard to find players like Phil Kessel’ 45
- Kassian traded to Habs for Prust; Hodgson signs with Preds 17
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins 131
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad, Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Trade: Flames land Dougie Hamilton for package of picks (75)