Earlier today, Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal and Mark Spector of Sportsnet reported that both the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche are interested in pursuing 27-year-old Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad to bolster their top 6 groups for a playoff run.
— Kurt Leavins (@KurtLeavins) December 30, 2019
Considering that the Blackhawks are currently one of the bottom ten teams in the NHL and last in their division, this kind of talk should come as no surprise to the Chicago faithful. Despite Saad’s ankle injury and subsequent trip to the long term injured reserve list, the Western Conference foes value his modest $6 million cap hit and steady production. Leavins and Spector go on to state that the additional year on his current contract (following this season) has been a bit of a stumbling block instead of being just a typical trade deadline playoff rental.
With both teams having (alleged) depth on their defense, organizationally, this kind of deal might interest Stan Bowman. Saad’s age, experience, and consistent production is just what a playoff bound team could use on the left side.
The 2011 second-round draft pick is in his second stint with the Blackhawks after originally getting traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the summer of 2015. He was re-acquired in the much maligned Artemi Panarin trade on June 23, 2017. This season, Saad is fifth on the Blackhawks in scoring with 19 points (11 goals, 8 assists).
The-Rink’s very own John Jaeckel estimates Saad’s trade value to these clubs as potentially returning a mid to late first-round pick, a young player and a solid prospect. Edmonton has some very young defensemen like Evan Bouchard and Philip Broberg, while the Avalanche have a plethora of young promising defensemen such as this year’s first-round draft pick Bowen Byram. Those players may or may not be in available, but Stan Bowman should definitely be inquiring about players of that level of pedigree.
Another player that is undoubtedly available in Edmonton is 2016 fourth overall pick Jesse Puljujärvi who has been holding out from signing with the Oilers and is currently playing in Finland with Oulun Kärpät of Liiga.