Brandon Saad’s great work throughout Chicago’s training camp is earning him notice from Joel Quenneville in a big way. The Blackhawks made their latest round of roster cuts in camp and Saad’s name wasn’t on the list of five players sent out of camp. Fellow impressive youngster Brandon Pirri was sent down to the AHL as was last year’s surprise upstart Marcus Kruger.
The big story here is with Saad. He was Chicago’s second round pick in 2011 and while he was projected to be a first round talent, he fell back to 43rd overall and into Chicago’s lap. Saad’s slip down the draft board isn’t lost on him and he’s been out to prove himself all throughout training camp. Mission accomplished as he’s going to start the year with Chicago and at least get nine games to show whether or not he belongs.
The chances for Saad to stick around longer than nine games are likely pretty thin as Viktor Stalberg and Patrick Sharp are questionable to play in the first game of the year. While Sharp is much closer to coming back than Stalberg, Ben Smith is feeling much better since getting knocked out by Detroit’s Brendan Smith. Saad’s window to show off is likely thin, but if he breaks out in a big way he could force Chicago’s hand in keeping him around for the season.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Here’s a detailed look back at Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin‘s first 10 years in the NHL. (NHL.com)
Speaking of Crosby, he’s signed a multiyear partnership with adidas. (Newswire)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play a key role in easing Connor McDavid into the NHL. (Edmonton Sun)
After two polar opposite seasons, the jury is still out on Patrick Roy as a head coach. (Denver Post)
Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys pulling off pranks on his teammates. “I play better when I’m looser, laughing and having fun,” he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Art McDonald, a Canadian who won recently won a Nobel Prize, talked to the committee members about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (SB Nation)
The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.
He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.
He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).
In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.
No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?