Islanders: Brandon Saad Addition Wouldn’t Be Enough
By Matt O'Leary
With free agency now just three days away, the predictions and links continue to come out. Elliotte Friedman wrote something last night making predictions for where free agents may land and there was one that came as a surprise linked to the New York Islanders.
Friedman linked veteran Brandon Saad to the Isles (as well as St. Louis, Pittsburgh, or Los Angeles). Brandon Saad is a good player, but is he what the Islanders need?
If the thought is that he would be a one-for-one swap for Jordan Eberle, then you are sorely mistaken. Last year, he had 24 points (15 goals, 9 assists) in 44 games for Colorado. Over the past three seasons, his 82 game pace is 47 points and 27 goals.
Saad also hasn’t touched 50 points in a season since 2016-2017. He’s a solid middle-six player, but the Islanders have so many guys just like that. At this point in his career is he any better than Anthony Beauvillier, Kyle Palmieri, or Josh Bailey? I don’t think so.
Assuming that Brandon Saad and Kyle Palmieri are due for similar contracts, (somewhere around $4 million – $5 million AAV range) I’d rather re-sign Palmieri who is a much better goal scorer and much more effective defensively and on the power play.
Over the past two seasons, Saad has just three power play goals while someone like Palmieri has 13 and has double-digit power play goals in three of the past five seasons. Plus Palmieri is already familiar with the Islanders system and is coming off a big playoff performance.
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Saad’s had himself a nice NHL career, and some team who is looking to make some noise in the playoffs will give him a contract, I just don’t see the Islanders as a fit. Ask yourself this, is he a step up from what the team already has? If the answer is no, then you already know the answer to whether or not the Islanders should sign him.