Brandon Saad has been signed to a six-year contract worth a reported $6 million per-year by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Saad, who was an integral part of Chicago’s last two Stanley Cups and was acquired by Columbus the day before his restricted free agency was set to begin. So the questioning starts – if you’re the Blackhawks, who at one point intimated they would go to the mat to re-sign Saad, would you have spent that type of money and term on a 22-year-old forward who has never scored 30 goals and hit a career-high of 52 points last season?
There was always the question of whether Saad was prone to an offer sheet with the salary cap strapped Blackhawks, and Chicago at least got NHL-ready players in Mako Dano and Artem Anisimov in the package for Saad.
Chicago is actually currently over the $71.4 million salary cap per General Fanager by about $418,000. This is without restricted free agent Marcus Kruger signed. Forwards Bryan Bickell ($4 million cap hit) and Patrick Sharp ($5.9 million cap hit) have been involved in trade rumors at some point.
As for the Blue Jackets … hey they have Brandon Saad for the next six years! And he will likely play alongside center Ryan Johansen to form an excellent 1-2 first-line combo.
The team seemed to give him a less-used nickname instead of the ‘Kneel Before Saad’ line we all used when he was with the Blackhawks.
Hey, at least it’s from another classic movie.
Said Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen in a team statement:
“Adding a player of Brandon's caliber is exciting for the Columbus Blue Jackets organization and our fans and we are extremely pleased to have reached this long-term commitment that assures he will be an important part of our team for years to come."
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