Another former member of the Chicago Blackhawks is heading to a hated rival, as forward Brandon Saad has agreed to a five-year contract with the St. Louis Blues.
Saad, who spent last season with the Colorado Avalanche after being traded by the Blackhawks in the Nikita Zadorov swap, will carry a salary cap hit of $4.5 million on the deal, and has a no-trade clause in his contract, according to CapFriendly.
“It’s a big decision,” the forward told the Blues’ website. “Having a family and a couple of young kids, you have to talk to your family, weigh out the pros and cons, the living situations, and team situations.”
Saad said he also wanted to “play for a good team,” and reportedly had also received interest from the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils before deciding to play in St. Louis.
Saad, a second-round pick of the Blackhawks in 2011, was a member of two Stanley Cup champions with the team, scoring 52 goals and dishing out 74 assists in three seasons before being traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets following the 2014-15 season.
After two seasons in Columbus, Saad was traded back to the Blackhawks, with Chicago sending forward Artemi Panarin to the Blue Jackets. Saad played for three more seasons in Chicago, with 62 goals and 53 assists to his credit, before being traded to Colorado before last season.
The forward isn’t the first former Blackhawks player to sign a deal with a long-time rival this week. Forward Pius Suter, who wasn’t given a qualifying offer by the Blackhawks this week, signed a two-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings as free agency opened on Wednesday.