I was among the many who were shocked yesterday when the tweets started coming out. Apparently talks broke down between Saad’s agent and the Blackhawks. Word trickled out late on Monday that the two sides were far apart. I was a little puzzled because there was a story that Brandon was going to give the Hawks a “Hometown” discount.
$6+ million per year for 6 years doesn’t seem like that much of a discount if you ask me. A discount could have been, maybe take less up front and get more later on. I dunno. Either way, Saad played his last game as a Chicago Blackhawk. What’s worse, he was traded away for an average bunch of guys. One of which, will count 3+ million against the 2015-16 year salary cap.
In my world, I would have let the qualifying offer come out and taken the draft picks. I then would have used the cap space to re-sign some of the players who, I dunno–maybe helped you win a Stanley Cup a few weeks ago? I get that Saad was going to cost too much. I also understand that they wanted players ready to go, but you had those in Desjardins, Richards, Vermette, and Oduya. They certainly couldn’t have signed all of those players, but 2-3 would have been nice. Especially Oduya, who played just as good as any other Hawks defenseman down the stretch.
Stan Bowman has done a terrific job since he’s been with Chicago, even though he had little to do with assembling the core of the team, he was still able to get the team from point B to point C. His moves last year all worked out and produced a 3rd title in just 6 years. It’s a pretty mean feat to pull off. I just think the draft picks combined with the cap space was the best thing to do for now and for the near future. Of course, I am not an NHL general manager. I just play one on the internet!