Could Saad be headed out of town again?
We all know what kind of salary-cap bind the Blackhawks will be in when the off-season approaches.
Too many big-money contracts are going to make life awfully difficult for GM Stan Bowman as he tries to figure out:
• What kind of contract to offer 30-goal scorer Dominik Kubalik.
• If he can afford Corey Crawford or if he should look for a longer-term solution in net.
• What to do with restricted free agents Dylan Strome, Drake Caggiula and Slater Koekkoek.
There are many paths Bowman can take to bring back all of those players, one of which would be to trade Brandon Saad.
Saad, who has one year remaining on a contract that carries a $6 million cap hit, is a five-time 20 goal scorer who could help push a playoff team over the hump. Not only is he a gifted scorer, he also brings a physical element and understands the importance of playing a 200-foot game.
Maybe Joel Quenneville and the Florida Panthers would be interested. Or Colorado, which is in the midst of a fierce playoff series with Dallas.
Saad has already been traded twice in his career, going to Columbus just two weeks after the Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2015 and then returning to Chicago in 2017 in exchange for Artemi Panarin.
In a Zoom conference call with reporters Thursday, Saad said he isn't thinking about the possibility of moving again. He did, however, admit that switching teams can be difficult.
"It's definitely tough being traded," said Saad, who has a 1-year-old son. "You're meeting new faces, new teammates. Sometimes you know guys on the team; sometimes you don't.
"You can gel fairly quickly, but just getting to get know teammates and going to a new city -- that can all be different and overwhelming at times. For myself, I'm at my best when I'm most comfortable. ...
Teams do a great job to help you. But the reality of it -- it's buying and selling houses, switching cities, learning directions, watching Google maps. It's definitely a little bit of a change."
Saad will be 28 when next season rolls around. He's already played in 588 regular-season games and another 81 in the postseason, racking up a combined 187 goals in the process.
He was on pace for 25 this season despite missing 12 games due to an injured ankle.
"I haven't really missed too many games in my career, so sitting through that (was) definitely tough," Saad said. "At the same time, you get to watch a little bit hockey and mentally prepare for when you are back. You can learn in that aspect as well so you make the best of a bad situation. ...
"We had a good team. I got opportunities to play with good players."
We'll just have to wait to see if Saad's back with those same players come next season.
Kubalik stays mum:
Restricted free agent Dominik Kubalik, who lit up the league with 30 goals and is a rookie-of-the-year finalist, didn't have a lot to say about his contract situation Thursday.
"You know the season just ended (and) I'm really happy to be home," Kubalik said. "That's going to probably be a conversation with my agent in the next couple days and weeks. ...
"After this year, I'm confident that I'm on a good (path) and I would love to stay in Chicago. That's probably what I can say about it right now."
Saad on protests:
Brandon Saad was asked for his thoughts on the NBA, WNBA and some major-league baseball teams canceling their games Wednesday due to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. He was also asked if he would have wanted the Blackhawks to keep playing if they had a game scheduled.
"It's a tough question," Saad said. "I can't speak for other teams or leagues. I know myself, personally I'd probably want to play. But that's based on wanting to play hockey. You know, I'm competitive. Guys want to play the sport.
"You want to take action and create awareness. That part's great in sports. But there's always different ways to go about it. To say one way's right or wrong, it's hard to say. People have their own ways of doing things.
"But I think the awareness is definitely fantastic. We all know that there's issues going on in this world. Taking action in a certain way to spread awareness is great."