The Blues have agreed to terms on a five-year, $22.5 million contract with free-agent forward Brandon Saad.
The move gives the team a desperately-needed left winger who will step in immediately to their top six.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the city a little bit better, because when you play there you’re kind of in-and-out and you don’t get to see all parts of the city,” Saad said via Zoom call Thursday.
“Obviously they’re a great hockey team that I’m looking forward to joining and having another chance of winning and have that success. I think all the ingredients are there and it’s a team that definitely excites me, that’s for sure.”
Saad was part of two Stanley Cup championship teams as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, and one of his considerations in signing with another team was going to a contender.
Saad, 28, has scored 20-plus goals in five of the past seven seasons and was considered one of the top remaining players on the market heading into Day 2 of free agency.
“It’s a big decision. It’s something that I’ve never been through,” Saad said. “Having a family and a couple young kids, it’s something where you have to talk to your family, kind of weigh out the pros and cons and living situation, team situation
“So there’s more that goes into it than you think and it’s something I just really wanted to think about and digest before making a decision.”
Saad has had two stints with Chicago, one with Columbus and played for Colorado last season, but on the three prior occasions where he switched clubs, those moves were the result of trades. This was the first time he has reached the market as a free agent.
Saad scored 15 goals in 44 games last season for the Colorado Avalanche, but after re-signing Cale Makar and Gabriel Landeskog, the Avalanche did not have enough salary cap room to retain Saad.