Saad hit free agency after just one season with the Colorado Avalanche in which he registered 24 points (15 goals, nine assists) and 12 penalty minutes through 44 games. He previously played two different stints for the Chicago Blackhawks and a three-season run with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The 28-year-old Pittsburgh, Pa., native was drafted with the 43rd overall pick by Chicago in the 2011 Entry Draft.
The Saad acquisition comes as Blues general manager Doug Armstrong continues trying to move veteran forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who carries a $7.5 million cap hit.
A couple of quick thoughts on the Saad signing:— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) July 29, 2021
- Getting him at that price ($4.5 million AAV) might make Army more willing to retain some of Tarasenko's salary.
- Perhaps teams who were in on Saad might pivot to Tarasenko, especially if the Blues are going to retain salary.
Tarasenko is entering the seventh season of an eight-year contract worth $60 million which includes a no-trade clause that kicked in during the shortened 2019-2020 season.
The Russian product, who has played his entire career in St. Louis, only played 10 games in the 2019-2020 season due to a lingering shoulder injury. Upon his return in 2021, he registered 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) and posted a minus-7 rating over 24 games.