The St. Louis Blues have made a sizeable splash, signing free-agent forward Brandon Saad to a five-year contract.
Saad, who spent last season with the Colorado Avalanche, will join the Blues on an average annual cap hit of $4.5 million.
It was an interesting season with the Avalanche for Saad, who scored 15 goals and 24 points in 44 games. He fell into more a depth role due to the strength of the Avalanche forward group, though he broke out a bit with increased responsibility in the postseason, scoring seven goals in 10 games.
Already a decade into his NHL career, Saad has largely performed a middle-six, secondary scoring level, topping out at 53 points in back-to-back seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He’s routinely managed strong underlying data, though his defensive game tailed off a bit in his second stint with the Chicago Blackhawks between 2017 and 2020.
He has, however, just come off a very impressive season from an analytical perspective, though the raw results didn’t quite mirror the shift-to-shift data.
St. Louis won’t quite provide the same environment as Colorado. However Saad should have increased role and the platform to continue serving as a positive influence inside the top six. He very much fits the characteristics of a Blues forward.
Saad’s signing further clouds the future of Vladimir Tarasenko, who is reportedly seeing a decline in interest from around the league, according to The Athletic.
St. Louis still has plenty of cap space with Tarasenko’s $7.5 million salary still on the books, but four restricted free agents still require deals. Those outstanding deals include Jordan Kyrou, Ivan Barbashev, Robert Thomas and Zach Sanford.
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