Saad slips onto 23-man roster again

Saad slips onto 23-man roster again
January 17, 2013, 8:35 pm
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In September of 2011, Brandon Saad got the best surprise of his young hockey career, making the Chicago Blackhawks roster out of training camp. On Thursday, for his second consecutive Blackhawks camp, he got the nod once again.
Saad made the Blackhawks 23-man roster, the group that will travel to Los Angeles to play the Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings on Saturday afternoon. For Saad, its a dream come true. Again.
It definitely (feels great), Saad said as he packed up for the Blackhawks flight to L.A. today. Confidence-wise its good, and I feel more comfortable up here.
Saad was one of several Rockford players who got the call-up early in the Blackhawks abbreviated camp. He was coming off a strong week with the IceHogs, and he earned AHL Player of the Week honors for it. While Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig were assumed nods to stay with the Blackhawks they had been among forward lines all week Saad wasnt a shoo-in.
Still, his work in last years camp and in the few games he played in a Blackhawks uniform gave the team brass an idea of what he could do. Coach Joel Quenneville said earlier this week that Saads potential was huge, and reiterated that today.
We saw it last year in training camp. Hes got some special skills and does a lot of things a lot of guys cant do: protects the puck, sees plays and makes plays, Quenneville said. He had some good and OK stretches in Rockford, and the last week or so did some things that really caught your attention. He can play with some top players as well.
Quenneville, however, wouldnt say that Saad was definitely in Saturdays lineup. He also wouldnt specify where hed fit in if he did, but it would likely be on the third or fourth lines.
Weve seen some top players over their careers start on the fourth line, Quenneville said. You look at the history of the (Montreal) Canadiens, it was a work-your-way-up-the-ladder type of thing. With (Saad), hes capable of playing in that role and could be inserted with johnny or someone up there, based on how he plays and based on his production. Right now were happy to have him starting here.
Saad isnt overly concerned with where he fits in at the moment. Hes here, and the rest is up to him.
Either way, its a huge step for me, he said. Its a short camp and Im able to make the trip. Its a process and I have to keep playing well.