Pittsburgh Interested In Brandon Saad? Too Bad

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun wrote that the Pittsburgh Penguins could be interested in Blackhawks forward – and restricted free agent-to-be – Brandon Saad, a Pittsburgh native.

A source suggested to me Tuesday that the Pittsburgh Penguins are a team to watch as far as having interest in Saad. The Penguins would love to make a splash by grabbing the Pittsburgh native, especially given their need for a top-six scoring winger.

This comment leads to Chicago outlets like the Sun-Times writing about the potential of Saad ending up in Pittsburgh. So let’s get a couple things out of the way before this snowballs into a case of “oh dear lord we’re losing Saad” in social media.

Let’s keep in mind that Saad is a restricted free agent, and the Blackhawks love him. Which means there are two ways for him to leave the island:

  1. Trade – not happening
  2. Sign an offer sheet – possible, not likely.

I understand and appreciate the perspective laid out nicely by CBS’ Adam Gretz, who asked earlier on Thursday, “If you’re an NHL general manager looking at the Blackhawks’ current situation, why wouldn’t you try to put together an offer for Saad and see if he would have any interest in signing with your team?”

Pittsburgh isn’t in a position to make Saad an offer the Hawks can’t/won’t match.

If the Penguins wanted to make an offer that would cause cap issues in Chicago, it would have to be north of $5M per season (and probably closer to $6M). As Hockey Reference outlines here, the compensation for an offer sheet above $5,478,986 is a first, second and third round draft choices in the following draft. Compensation picks have to be originally owned by the offer sheet authoring team (cannot be someone else’s picks), and have to be in the following draft.

Pittsburgh traded their second round pick in 2016 to Toronto in the Daniel Winnik deal this season.

So cross Pittsburgh off the list of Brandon Saad offer sheet candidates this summer.

57 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Interested In Brandon Saad? Too Bad

  1. Saad has expressed countless times he loves the Hawks and wants to stay with the organization no matter what. Shut up Pierre, go back to looking like an alien with magnifying glasses on and stay between the benches.

  2. Its a long shot an I do not see it happening but the Penguins can always trade for their pick back.

  3. Saad may be INSANELY expensive to retain, but he has to be retained…

    We say goodbye for sure (via free agency/retirement) to Richards, Vermette, DesJardins, Carcillo, Oduya. Rosival, Kimmo, Runblad, Cumiesky, Raanta.

    We very, very likely say goodbye (via trade) to Sharp, Bickell, Versteeg…even if it means eating some salary and trading prospects or draft picks.

    We are likely, highly reluctantly and sadly say goodbye (via free agency) to Kruger.

    And we may have to say an unfortunate goodbye (via trade) to a combination of Seabrook, Shaw and Crawford.

  4. Any smart GM in the West will give him an offer he can not refuse. Any GM in the Western Conference who wants to simply remove one key player (to me the real future of the Hawks) Losing Saad would be fatal to the Hawks in the short term. (next 2 to 3 years)

    Who wouldn’t want Saad, he is so prime for major break out and Hawks use of him has IMO slowed his development. What an up side . . . Shaw too is a critical link in the fragile Hawks system.

    go hawks lose anyoen but saad

  5. Wrong Pierre, BT. It’s Pierre LEBRUN that wrote that, NOT Mcguire! Read the 1st sentence again!

  6. Dammit, Dave beat me to it! Wrong Pierre. But yeah, it’s not happening, Hawks will find a way to keep Saad, no matter what. Way to valuable a piece to this core.

  7. Of course it doesn’t have to be exclusively Pittsburgh doing the poking around. I suspect there will be a few teams thinking about taking a run at him. Hawks are ripe for the picking unfortunately.

    Bowman has his work cut out for him to retain his core. Or maybe he’d welcome the draft picks as compensation for the ones he’s squandered away.

    I keed.

  8. DAVE
    June 11, 2015 at 6:24 pm
    Squandered?

    Timonen? Two seconds? That’s a fleecing and a squandering rolled into one. A squeecing.

  9. And Kane and Toews are going to Winnipeg and Buffalo. Players, especially younger players, want to win more than they want to go home.

    Saad’s next deal will be worth enough AAV to move his whole family to Chicago if he wanted.

  10. Curious to some of your thoughts…a team like Arizona needs to get to the floor. I wonder if they’d be wiling to part with the picks necessary.

  11. Snidely- Raanta has another year on his deal. Desjardins may be able to be kept.

    Remove 44,80,91,29,10,23,27,32,5, and possibly 65. Shaw is valuable no doubt. But, he may be the key to shedding a salary like Bickell’s. I would trade Shaw if it meant losing Bickell and Versteeg. The cap purge isn’t as dire as it looks. The problem is finding takers. Lots of teams looking at Arizona just because they have space.

  12. That is if there is an Arizona next year…or at least a building to play in. Ongoing soap opera in that town.

  13. I have a horrible feeling that we will lose Saad but i doubt it will be to Pitt, they may be in a worse cap position then the Hawks. I would keep an eye on Buffalo or Edmonton who can throw sick money at him.

  14. Pretty sure Edmonton will be using any available cap space for goalies and defensemen. Buffalo is likely to let a young team start to develop and bring in free agents only after their longer term needs are better understood. No matter who they sign the Sabres are unlikely to be a contender in 2015-16. Offer sheets to RFAs have been pretty rare over the past couple of summers. Hawks may have cap challenges but I expect almost every scenario Stan and team are working on has both Saad and Shaw back next season.

  15. Pittsburgh and 28 other teams would like him out of Chicago too.. lol

    He will be here for a while. No worries fellas.

  16. I don’t think anyone should be surprised if saad gets an offer. While other teams want saad the other objective is to hurt the hawks. An offer sheet to saad does a couple of things. First it forces the hawks to try and trade seabrook or crawford to keep saad. Secondly the more expensive saad is the hawks still stay close to the top of the cap.

  17. From the people I’ve talked to on other forums that are Arizona fans, I’ve gathered a couple things. First being that the mayor and council members probably aren’t long for their current positions. Lots of backlash, and mayors response is the constituents are ignorant and don’t know all the facts. Never a good idea.

    The second thing I’ve heard is the location of the stadium is wrong. It’s in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix. Had they put the arena to the east of Phoenix, closer to like Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, and Scottsdale they would have had a better chance. One person had said its 2 hours from where they are in the east valley to the arena. Apparently more of the east and northern transplants are in that area as well.

    Lastly, the Coyotes are allegedly about to sue for 200 million. And the leverage the city has is a former attorney that left months before the contract was consummated went to work for Arizona while he was being paid severance.

  18. Saad may get multiple offers, but we need to remember a few things. First, he will NOT get a long term $50mm offer. Whatever a team offers sets the bar on that team for other players. I love Saad but he is not (yet) a franchise player. Much of his success is who he gets to play with.

    Let’s temper ourselves, Saad had 52 points in the reg season and has 10 points in 21 playoff games. I think he will take a $4-5mm deal for 2-3 years, then cash in. I just hope it is with the Hawks. Anything over $5.5mm per, SB will have to let him go unless it is for 4 or more years.

  19. ….sad about Saad.?…lets win the cup first and then worry about who gets contract renewal…..In todays NHL. most players dont play for their hometown….lol….in most cases they arent from the same country….lol…would love to see that…but we have an international drafting agreement system….doubt Saad considers it a factor now at this stage of his career….

  20. Let’s watch the Hawks win another Stanley Cup and then talk about squandered draft picks. Because, as you all know, draft picks are of extreme value. Why have an NHL player when you could have someone that might one day be able to be an NHL player? It’s not like they needed another NHL player or two on the roster this year. And it’s not like they won’t be dumping people for draft picks this summer. I can only assume people slam their faces on the keyboard and autocorrect spits out this garbage, because it can’t actually be the way people think.

  21. I’m coming right out to say I hope Saad pots hatty’s in the next 2 games and gets to carry the Cup Monday night. This will drive his salary demands and outside bids through the roof, and leave everybody pissed off and wringing their hands that the kid won’t be re-signed by the Hawks.

    Please, oh please let this happen!

  22. Mike-what is really funny… 29 makes $4M… and Saad will make $4.5-$6M (even if shorter term/bridge).. now that is funny… but really shows the NEEDS of clubs to have Young prospects produce/NOW to control costs… and The troubles that can burden a team/GM- when they Sign “the Wrong” guys/deals… in any Capped game- you can’t afford to pay “bums”/mistakes…

    20 can play all roles, skates hard almost every nite, and is strong in all zones…
    and then there is 29!!!

    Handcuffs- might be out of the league in 3-4 years or less!!!

  23. And while we are at it hoping for Saad scoring 2 hat tricks why not wish for it to happen with him lining up to play D to help us thru that dire shortage too?!?
    Grin.

  24. Still pretty convinced that Bickell could have made David Clarkson money on the open market. Think about that.

  25. MIKE
    June 12, 2015 at 8:32 am
    Saad may get multiple offers, but we need to remember a few things. First, he will NOT get a long term $50mm offer. Whatever a team offers sets the bar on that team for other players. I love Saad but he is not (yet) a franchise player. Much of his success is who he gets to play with.

    Let’s temper ourselves, Saad had 52 points in the reg season and has 10 points in 21 playoff games. I think he will take a $4-5mm deal for 2-3 years, then cash in. I just hope it is with the Hawks. Anything over $5.5mm per, SB will have to let him go unless it is for 4 or more years.

    Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent Hopkins got 6 and 7 years at $6M per 2-3 years ago. Saad is not Taylor Hall but he’s worth Eberle dollars or close. I’d bet a bridge deal for him might be tough to secure but far stranger things have happened.

  26. JS
    June 12, 2015 at 9:35 am
    Let’s watch the Hawks win another Stanley Cup and then talk about squandered draft picks. Because, as you all know, draft picks are of extreme value. Why have an NHL player when you could have someone that might one day be able to be an NHL player? It’s not like they needed another NHL player or two on the roster this year. And it’s not like they won’t be dumping people for draft picks this summer. I can only assume people slam their faces on the keyboard and autocorrect spits out this garbage, because it can’t actually be the way people think.

    This is hilarious commentary. Timonen is an NHL player in your eyes? Time to call your optometrist. I think you’re expectations are going to be tempered seriously this summer as you watch those (easy to get) draft picks flow like water into Bowman’s hands.

    You can start things off by explaining in detail why the F any other team in the NHL is going to be doing the Hawks any favors.

  27. Alberta – Do me a favor and go back as far as you want on Blackhawks second round draft picks and tell me how many of them are in the NHL currently. And if you are so short sighted that you can’t see the reason that Timmo was acquired, there isn’t much I can do to help you. The next time a guy like Brad Richards signs for well under market value, think about why that could be.

    Do you think that a team that believes they are a top 6 left wing away from contention is going to be thinking, “Well, we shouldn’t trade for Patrick Sharp, that just helps the Blackhawks! Screw our own needs, we don’t want to help them!” The answer is no. They aren’t going to be thinking that.

    The Calgary Flames gave up a 3rd round pick for Brandon Bollig. The Leafs gave up a 2nd and two-4ths for Dave Bolland and his bionic back, even after a season in which he couldn’t be productive with Patrick Kane. Fourth liner Michael Frolik returned a 3rd and 5th. A 3rd and a 5th for Pirri. We could go back to 2010 when these teams “helped” the Blackhawks as well.

    So yeah, I’m pretty confident that the Hawks will be able to replace a first and second round pick this year without much trouble.

  28. Yeah Dave I re-read it right after I posted… Oh well, I just like ripping on Pierre’s goofy ass

  29. JS
    June 12, 2015 at 1:35 pm
    Alberta – Do me a favor and go back as far as you want on Blackhawks second round draft picks and tell me how many of them are in the NHL currently.

    Like Brandon Saad you mean?? Or Bolland, Bickell, Crawford, Keith, Pirri, + prospects Danault, Steven Johns, etc. Not much of an argument really when you consider Shaw was a 5th and Brouwer was a 7th. A beytter question might have been “How many decent second rounders taken by any team are playing in the NHL right now.” Or was that a comment directed at the Blackhawks drafting record overall?

    And if you are so short sighted that you can’t see the reason that Timmo was acquired, there isn’t much I can do to help you

    Well yes I must be VERY shortsighted then because I see Timonen as a steaming pile of dog crap who at 40 years of age and out of hockey for a full season was a lame duck bet at best. Enlighten me as to his contributions to the Hawks so far please. Ordering hamburgers for Teuvo maybe? Bowman was obviously missile locked on him because better D went for the same and less in return. It’s not like the guy was going to be in Chicago once the year was over.

    The next time a guy like Brad Richards signs for well under market value, think about why that could be.

    Already swimming in cash and a decent shot at another cup run? Richards had and still has value. Timonen has ZERO value so any correlation between the two is non-existent.

    Do you think that a team that believes they are a top 6 left wing away from contention is going to be thinking, “Well, we shouldn’t trade for Patrick Sharp, that just helps the Blackhawks! Screw our own needs, we don’t want to help them!” The answer is no. They aren’t going to be thinking that.

    Never said they would but here’s what they WILL be thinking…”hmm Chicago is deep against the cap and HAS to move the guy. Offer under market return.” Doing the Hawks a favor is taking any of their overpays at market value. We shall see I guess.

    Bolland was a horrible trade for the Leafs but they needed some Names in their lineup to appease their fans, making $3.37 per for one more year and had just scored arguably the biggest goal of his career . Whatever, you can’t fix stupid and the Leafs are the Leafs. Frolik was probably worth more than his return, isn’t a 4th liner on any normal depth NHL team, had a year left on his contract at $ 1.9 and an AAV of $ 2.333. Actually that was kind of a dumb trade on Bowman’s part to be honest.

    So yeah, I’m pretty confident that the Hawks will be able to replace a first and second round pick this year without much trouble.

    That very well may be the case but it’s a shortsighted opinion when you take into account the reason they Have to dump like they will is because of gross overpays throughout the lineup. Refresh my memory on why they have to replace a second at all when it’s Timonen it left for. Then rinse and repeat next year as well.

    If I’m guilty of treating draft picks too highly you’re guilty of thinking they grow on trees and that the lineups for Hawk castoffs will be endless.

    Is there such a thing as having too many draft picks?

  30. Draft picks should be treasured. Championship teams are built through the draft. An excellent example of that is the Hawks. 19/88/2/4/7/20 to name a few. I must also be shortsighted because I see NO reason why Stan gave up 2 2nd round picks for 44. Stan got fleeced on that trade. I would be embarrassed to have made that trade.

  31. The point was that the draft is a crap shoot. And that for every draft that gives you a Bolland and a Bickell, you have one that gives you an Akim Aliu and Bill Sweatt. Quick math tells me that since the year 2000, 6 of the Blackhawks 22 second round draft picks are in the NHL. Sure, some of them still have a chance to make it, but picks in the next 2 years don’t help the Hawks win this year (unless they are traded… which they were… weird). Danault was a first round pick.

    Yes, stock piling picks is awesome because it gives you a better chance of finding a player that sticks. And I think you proved that point by talking about the Shaw, Kruger, Nordstrom, Brouwer, Byfuglien, Ross, Hinostroza, Smith, etc. types that you can get in later rounds. Or the college free agents like Baun, maybe Reilly. Or the Euro free agents like Raanta, Panarin. The cast offs like Scott Darling.

    The Hawks wanted to win this year, it’s fine to give up a roll of the dice to better your chance to win the Cup.

    And if the Hawks are dangling Sharp, you are competing against other teams for his services. If the Islanders don’t want to offer more than a second because the Hawks need to move him, well the Canadiens might want to make sure they don’t lose out on him, and Ottawa knows that if he goes to Montreal, that hurts their chances. Then the Islanders say shit, we need him to win and these other teams might offer a better package. You see how this works now?

    And on Timmonen… he was acquired shortly after rumors about unrest in the Blackhawks locker room erupted. I think maybe, just maybe, the thought was to bring in another well respected leader and to give the Hawks someone to rally around and “win one for”. When the Hawks win the Cup, who do you think Toews is going to hand it to first?

  32. Jebus Alberta you know they are in the SC final, right? And this isn’t an Edmonton board where the vitriol might be justified. What exactly would make you happy with the Hawks? They have to win 82 games per season and 18 consecutive Stanley cups?

  33. re: trading away draft picks, and people crapping their pants about it – remember when the Hawks overpaid for Johnny Oduya w/ a 2nd & a 3rd? What did Bowman do the following summer? traded Bolland & Frolik and replaced the two picks with selections higher in the respective rounds. And Oduya’s been worth every bit of two unknowns.

    Bowman has a track record of replacing most – if not all – of the draft picks he’s traded for veterans. And he’s done a damn fine job using the picks he’s had to make the team successful.

    With that being said, let’s also not ignore the fact that Bowman has also stockpiled college & European talent this spring to buoy the talent pipeline if he doesn’t add picks. Baun, Panarin, Gustafsson & Kero have all been signed as free agents since the deadline.

    If this organization was lacking talent in the pipeline and/or struggling at the NHL level I would be concerned about the two 2nd round picks they dealt for Timonen (or the first they dealt away for Vermette). But neither is the case, and there will be moves this summer that will undoubtedly bring picks back.

    Relax.

  34. Nicely said Tab…

    With the upcoming salary situation, I have confidence that SB will make the right moves to keep this team in contention for years to come…

    Just hope we have a better group of “NHL Ready” defensemen (that Q trusts) for next years playoff run!

  35. Next year’s crop of d-men will include Paliotta, Johns, TvR, maybe Pokka and Gustafsson. Reilly is still a wild card. I would take every name on that list ahead of Cumiskey and/or Rundblad right now.

  36. Speaking of Reilly i believe early next week is the soonest he might be able to sign a deal. He would be a nice get for the organization.

  37. Trading any of the draft picks for the guys we got/get/27 is always worth it because we get picks back other ways and are getting FA from additional sources. Plus we have been stock pilling for yrs, so we can dip into the well when ever we want and still have the normal amount or more of picks.

    Phil/JS, good stuff.

  38. Mo…exactly right. Saad isn’t going anywhere. Put it to rest because we have a Stanley Cup to win. We only have 2-3 games left in our season.

  39. JS and Alberta… Love the passion… and respect both of you on this site a lot…

    I do get that picks are a crap shoot… BUT- that is exactly why they should be valued… in Number in the Hawks case… cuz they are never near the top in pick order (recently)… so as long as SB gets a lot of picks back from upcoming Cap purge… Hawks will be ok… Now HOW OK??? we will see what SB actually pulls off!!!

    Timmo- was a horrible deal… THAT was a CRAP-SHOOT bigger than 3rd round pick!!! SB should have done better…. Frolik… BIG mistake NOT to keep him one more year…

    BUT- SB does get some props for the recent College FA’s, Panarin (who I really think is going to be special), and if he gets Reilly…. well he – has made up for the trades all ready…

    The jury is out… – until SB does replace those picks this summer… we shall see…

  40. CHEVRIER
    June 12, 2015 at 3:15 pm
    Jebus Alberta you know they are in the SC final, right? And this isn’t an Edmonton board where the vitriol might be justified. What exactly would make you happy with the Hawks? They have to win 82 games per season and 18 consecutive Stanley cups?

    That would make me very happy yes, but the answer to your question is simply that I’m really worried about what happens this offseason win or lose this series. Plus, the second I heard of the trade for Timonen, then the comp, I was floored and thought someone in Philly must have pic of SB with sheep. Naked sheep.

    Crossing my fingers that my team can stay competitive and in the playoff hunt in the years to come is all. Hawks finished the year with 102 pts while #8 had 97 and 95 pts earned a green fee. That’s a damn fine line and losing one of two guys can make all the difference.

    I hear you re Edmonton vitriol but that’s kind of been a non-factor since the draft lottery. Not that CMD comes close to fixing all the Oilers woes by a long shot.

  41. Alberta – what happens this offseason win or lose the series is a significant salary dump. A true salary dump means veterans are leaving a premier organization and they’re asking for minimal financial commitment (read: draft picks) in return. Bowman knew he would have to move pieces who are significant enough to get him back into the 2nd – 4th rounds, so he took a calculated risk to add depth at some positions he viewed to be a need (6-7 dman, 2-3C). Did he overpay for Timonen? Sure. But if Rozsival hadn’t gone down the core group of defensemen wouldn’t have been worked as much, and Timonen wouldn’t have been as exposed as washed up. And if TvR hadn’t been injured late in the season, he might be your 6th dman and Timonen isn’t skating in as many games (thus the stipulations on the second pick not escalating to a second rounder). Unpredictable circumstances can’t be held against a GM 3 months after he pulls the trigger.

  42. re: Wall – is there a player in the later stages of the first round of this year’s draft who is positioned to have a bigger impact in the NHL during the 2015-16 season than Panarin? If not, the 1st the Hawks gave up for Vermette is offset by an outstanding free agent acquisition – who is only 23.

  43. to the complaint about not keeping Frolik for one more year… stop it.

    The Hawks got a 3rd & 5th for Frolik that they turned into a couple prospects – John Hayden & Luke Johnson – many are high on (especially Hayden). Frolik had 3 goals in 45 games his final season in Chicago; they replaced him w/ Ben Smith and saved $1.2M cap hit in the process. crying over that deal is ridiculous.

  44. Tab laying the hammer down! Love it! We need to pull up some of the comments when Timmonen was acquired. I remember someone here loving it and coining the phrase “kimmotherapy”… As our 3rd pairing needed his services.

    If Bowman gets picks for 23 and 29 its a win. 6.2 million off the books for players that have failed to contribute.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Hawks cap situation isn’t that bad. The numbers work. And the reason the work is because the Hawks have a stellar front office and are able to plug in cheap NHL talent on ELC’s. Look who the Hawks had in 09/10 as black aces…other than Bickell. Kyle Beach, Jack Skills, Jake Dowell…despite winning 2 cups, this franchise is still trending up.

  45. It was either Elliote Freidman or P.J.Stock on HNIC Wed night that commented after the Saad goal that “everytime Saad scores he adds another $250,000 to his contract right now”….they are likely correct.

  46. …off the Saad topic but in less than 24 hours we will know the outcome of game 5…lets not jinx things, take things for granted or assume anything …I will 100% put my confidence in Q and whatever lines he puts out there, keep things positive and send out the best vibes possible ( of course we all like to ‘think” we had something to do with a good outcome)…

  47. I’d love to see a Timonen goal. I kept telling him shoot shoot shoot last game.. He finally pulled the trigger and rang the crossbar. Would have been great. Perhaps he’ll get one yet.

  48. “Unpredictable circumstances can’t be held against a GM 3 months after he pulls the trigger.”

    Bravo Tab well said!

    Unfortunately this our society. People love to examine things under a microscope and become judgemental especially when it involves sports or the Police……

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