Blackhawks unwilling to trade Brandon Saad to Hurricanes for Justin Faulk, per report

Chicago isn’t looking to move the top winger.

The Chicago Blackhawks don’t want to trade Brandon Saad again, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet said on his “31 Thoughts” podcast.

“I’d heard Chicago had been in on (Justin) Faulk, but I heard the hangup there was Brandon Saad; that Carolina wanted Saad, and Chicago didn’t want to do that,” Friedman said.

Chicago is looking to add a top-four right-handed shot like the 26-year-old Faulk. He has two years left on his current contract and carries a $4.833 million salary cap hit. He has scored 30-plus points a season since the 2013-14 campaign. He scored 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 76 games last season. Prior to the 2017-18 campaign, he had scored at least 15 goals in each of the last three seasons.

Carolina would be open to trading Faulk after signing free agent defenseman Calvin de Haan, 27, to a four-year contract worth a total of $18.2 million. De Haan tallied a goal and 11 assists in 33 games with the New York Islanders last season, but missed the final 49 games with a shoulder injury. In 2016-17, De Haan set career highs with 25 points, five goals and 20 assists while playing all 82 games.

Saad, a 25-year-old left winger, scored 18 goals and 35 points in 82 games this past season in his return to Chicago from Columbus in the Artemi Panarin trade. Saad’s Corsi For percentage of 56.04 was the third highest in his six seasons, while his 13.01 high-danger chances per 60 minutes were fourth.

One metric that Saad fell short of from his previous seasons was shooting percentage. His 7.6 percent was a big dip from his 11.8 percent mark in his last season with the Blue Jackets.

Saad played on the top line alongside Jonathan Toews, with the right wing spot being a revolving door compared to his first stint in Chicago when Marian Hossa locked down the spot. Vinnie Hinostroza, who signed a two-year extension with a $1.5 million annual salary cap hit in June, is expected to get a shot at the right wing spot. The 24-year-old scored seven goals and assisted on 18 others in 50 NHL games after starting the season with the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL. Chicago drafted Hinostroza in the sixth round in the 2012 NHL draft.