Avalanche Acquire Saad From Blackhawks

Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks

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

Team Odds
Colorado Avalanche +750
Vegas Golden Knights +950
Tampa Bay Lightning +950
Boston Bruins +1100
Philadelphia Flyers +1400
Pittsburgh Penguins +1600
Washington Capitals +1600
St. Louis Blues +1800
Toronto Maple Leafs +1900
Dallas Stars +2000
Edmonton Oilers +2100
Carolina Hurricanes +2300
New York Islanders +2600
New York Rangers +2600
Nashville Predators +2700
Calgary Flames +2900
Vancouver Canucks +3100
Florida Panthers +3300
Winnipeg Jets +3300
Columbus Blue Jackets +3800
San Jose Sharks +4000
Minnesota Wild +4700
Montreal Canadiens +4700
Arizona Coyotes +4900
Chicago Blackhawks +4900
Los Angeles Kings +5500
New Jersey Devils +5500
Anaheim Ducks +6000
Buffalo Sabres +6000
Ottawa Senators +10000
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.

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.

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.

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Brady Trettenero