Brandon Saad snubbed by team USA: not the end of the world

Chicago Blackhawks

Jerome Miron- USA TODAY Sports

The New Year of 2014 has been the exact opposite of dull for hockey fans. Not only did we have the opportunity to witness the beloved Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs, the much anticipated roster for the USA Men’s hockey team was announced. For Chicago Blackhawks fans, there was a small hint of disappointment that hung over the roster announcement. While winger Patrick Kane was announced as a member of the team (but who didn’t see that coming?), two other Hawks were snubbed on an invite. Brandon Saad and Nick Leddy were the two players who were invited to training camp camp in August, but were left off the roster. Many are in upset over this decision, as they have watched Saad soar to great heights and a Stanley Cup title in his short time with the Blackhawks. But, should they really be taking up such arms? Saad is a great talent out on the ice and has proven his versatility and comfortability on either side of center. He has 14 goals and 16 assists on the season, the latter part of the season being where he has picked up most of his steam. Saad is cultivating a great relationship with Kane and Michal Handzus out on the second line as well. But, even taking all of that into consideration, it is not the biggest loss in the world that Saad was snubbed on an Olympic invite to Team USA. For starters, while he has made an impressive show so far this season, he is extremely young. He is also not one of the top six skaters for the Hawks at the moment. Saad needs a little more time to develop and mature a new level of depth in his game out on the ice. Given this, in four years, I am more than positive he could find himself sporting a Team USA sweater out on the ice. In addition to this, if Team USA wants any chance of defeating Team Canada out on the ice for the gold medal, than the most skilled team must be in place — a team that offers depth and maturity throughout their entire line, something the coaches of Team USA must have felt that Saad lacks at this point in time. Kelsey Meyer is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com, follow her on Twitter @storminmormon20 and add her to your network on Google.

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