On the second day of free agency, the Blues finally landed one of the top unrestricted free agents as they signed left winger Brandon Saad to a five-year deal for $22.5 million ($4.5 million AAV). The deal includes a full no-trade clause for the first four years and a limited no-trade clause for the final year. While Saad will cost the Blues $4.5 million against the salary cap, his contract is structured for him to earn $4.5 million the first two years, $5.5 million in year three, $4.375 million in year four, and $3.625 million in the final year.
What Blues fans should expect from Saad
Saad is a proven NHL veteran who will be entering his 11th season in the NHL when he suits up in blue and gold for the first time. A proven top-six winger, Saad will be counted on as a 20 goal scorer who can be trusted in 5 on 5 situations, the power play, and the penalty kill, which seemingly makes him a good fit in Craig Berube‘s system where every player is expected to play a 200-foot game. He will most likely start the season on the left-wing alongside Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron, hopefully putting an end to the everlasting search to find the pair a proper linemate. Saad will bring some championship pedigree to a team that has lost roughly half of its Stanley Cup roster from 2019, as he is a two-time Cup winner himself. Of course, Saad won those two titles with the rival Chicago Blackhawks, so it may take Blues fans some time to get used to Saad being on the blue side of the rivalry. For Blues fans looking for some optimism after losing a fan favorite like Schwartz, Saad will be making $1 million less than Schwartz while providing a similar role and having a much better history of durability. Overall, Saad has scored 371 points in 632 games with the Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, and most recently, the Colorado Avalanche.
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