Each week, Elliotte Friedman posts his “30 Thoughts” column (a must read if it isn’t on your list already).
This week’s notes had one comment that is… intriguing.
“7. Speaking of forwards, very curious to see where things go with Columbus and Brandon Saad. He’s fifth on the Blue Jackets in scoring, fifth in time-on-ice among forwards. But he was almost a healthy scratch last week and, somewhere, the team wants to ease its cap crunch. Chicago investigated it last season, but couldn’t make things work. He’s 24 years old and has a lot to give.”
Chicago investigated bringing back Brandon Saad?
Saad, of course, started his career in Chicago but was traded after winning the Stanley Cup in 2015. He quickly signed a big money deal with Columbus, and has a $6M cap hit through the 2020-21 season.
Saad set a career high with 31 goals for the Jackets last season. In 14 games this year he has four goals and eight assists.
On July 27, 2015, Chicago traded Saad to Columbus with Mike Paliotta and Alex Broadhurst for forwards Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Corey Tropp and a fourth round pick in the 2016 NHL draft (#95 – Anatoly Golyshev).
Stan Bowman subsequently traded the pick to the Islanders for another fourth round pick in the 2016 draft (#110 – Lucas Carlsson) and a sixth round pick in the 2017 draft. Bowman also traded away Dano in the deal that brought Andrew Ladd to Chicago at the trade deadline. And he traded Tropp to Anaheim for Tim Jackman and a seventh round pick in 2017.