The Colorado Avalanche have acquired Brandon Saad in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks. Photo by @NHLBlackhawks (Twitter).
- The Avalanche have acquired Brandon Saad and Dennis Gilbert from Chicago in exchange for Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm
- The Avalanche are +750 favorites in the 2021 Stanley Cup odds, while the Blackhawks are +4900 longshots
- How does this trade affect both team’s Stanley Cup chances? See odds and analysis below
The Avalanche have added another offensive weapon to their arsenal. The team has acquired former 30-goal-scorer Brandon Saad plus blueliner Dennis Gilbert from Chicago in exchange for defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm.
Colorado is currently being listed as the favorites in the early 2021 Stanley Cup odds, while Chicago is a +4900 longshot.
Does acquiring Saad make Colorado a good Stanley Cup bet? Are the Blackhawks worth a look at such long odds?
2021 Stanley Cup Odds
|Vegas Golden Knights||+950|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+950|
|St. Louis Blues||+1800|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1900|
|New York Islanders||+2600|
|New York Rangers||+2600|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+3800|
|San Jose Sharks||+4000|
|Los Angeles Kings||+5500|
|New Jersey Devils||+5500|
|Detroit Red Wings||+11000|
Odds taken Oct. 10 at FanDuel.
Avalanche Boast Lethal Offense
Acquiring Saad is a great get for a talented Colorado squad that finished 2019-20 with the top-scoring offense in the entire conference (3.37 GPG). They boast a ridiculously skilled forward group centered around Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog and Nazem Kadri.
Nathan MacKinnon is absolutely our MVP❣️#AvsFlashback #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/4wgWRk80bQ
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) October 5, 2020
Saad is a reliable goal-scorer who has hit the 20-goal mark in five of the last six seasons. He’s never taken that next step into elite status, but he’s as consistent as they come when it comes to putting the puck in the back of the net. In 58 games with Chicago in 2019-20, Saad had 21 goals and 33 points.
Scoring hasn’t been the issue for this Avalanche team, so it isn’t surprising that they didn’t see odds movement immediately after the deal. Zadorov is a solid physical depth defender, but the Avalanche will be fine considering Cale Makar, Ryan Graves, Samuel Girard and Erik Johnson will all be back in 2021.
Blackhawks In Middle Of Rebuild
Don’t be fooled by Chicago beating Edmonton during the play-in round of the Return-To-Play. This is a rebuilding team that was an absolute disaster defensively in 2019-20, allowing the most shots (35.1) out of any team in the league.
TRADE ALERT: The #Blackhawks have acquired defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm from Colorado in exchange for Brandon Saad and defenseman Dennis Gilbert. pic.twitter.com/rUf1xLoPbc
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 10, 2020
The bigger worry for Chicago is a move that came a few days before the Saad trade. The Blackhawks decided to move on from longtime goaltender Corey Crawford, who voiced his displeasure afterwards by saying he was “devastated” by the team’s decision not to re-sign him.
The Blackhawks have some promising young stars on offense, but this isn’t a team to consider betting on for a Stanley Cup anytime soon. Zadorov won’t do much to fix their defensive issues, and the current inexperienced goaltending tandem of Malcolm Subban and Colin Dellia is worrisome.
Verdict on Avs’ and Hawks’ Cup Chances
Colorado and Vegas are the two most talented teams in the Western Conference, evident with the massive drop-off in odds for the other Western teams. Colorado is going to have a very talented team in 2021, but offense wasn’t the reason they bowed out in the second round of the playoffs at the hands of the Dallas Stars.
The Avalanche gave up a whopping 28 goals in that series loss. The jury is still out on whether the current goaltending tandem of Pavel Francouz and Philipp Grubauer can lead this team to a cup. If the team can solidify the goaltending position, they would be a great bet for the 2021 Stanley Cup.
A rebuilding Chicago team isn’t worth betting on, but Vegas at +950 stands out as a good value play. Unlike both teams in this trade, they have a solid starting goalie in Robin Lehner. They also got a visit on Saturday from prized UFA blueliner Alex Pietrangelo, who will make his decision in the coming days.
The Avalanche win this trade with Chicago, but this team still appears a top goaltender and/or an elite defenseman away from being a true Stanley Cup calibre team.
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.