Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Blackhawks [Print without images]

Thursday, January 2, 2014
Saad disappointed to miss out on Olympics

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNChicago.com

NEW YORK -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad received a call from his agent Wednesday after he and his teammates arrived in New York.

The news was disappointing.

Brandon Saad
Brandon Saad narrowly missed out on a roster spot with Team USA.
Despite receiving strong consideration for a spot on the 2014 USA Men's Olympic hockey team, Saad was ultimately not selected.

"Yeah (it's disappointing)," Saad said prior to Thursday night's game against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. "You want to make that team. It's a tough team to make, but it was out of my control. I had a good first half. Now, I'm putting that aside and looking to play another."

According to ESPN.com's Scott Burnside, who followed the selection process for months, Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler and St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie narrowly edged out Saad for the final spots up front.

"It doesn't matter if you're the last cut or one of the first cuts," Saad said. "Either way, it's the same result: You didn't make the team. Hopefully, I will next time."

Saad, 21, has amassed 14 goals and 16 assists for the Blackhawks this season.

"There's always some disappointments that fuel the fire a bit and want to make you a better player," Saad said. "You gotta keep working at things."

Saad hadn't heard anything about possibly being brought onto the team if an injury were to occur.

"I'm not sure how that works," he said. "But you obviously don't want anyone to get injured."

"I think he was one of those guys that was on the bubble there," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I'm sure he got consideration. He's still a young guy. In the future, I think he'll get a chance to play on that team."

Although Saad said he appreciates that he is getting some time to rest, Quenneville would've liked to see the young forward make the team and get to face some of the top competition in the world.

"I think that's a good experience for players, getting to play against the top guys," Quenneville said. "I think it can make you a better player going forward."

Forward Patrick Kane will be Chicago's lone representative on the U.S. team. Defenseman Nick Leddy was also not selected.

"That just speaks to the depth of American hockey these days," Kane said. "For me personally, I'm not worried about who they pick or who they don't pick, I'm just trying to do my job when the time comes around for the team."

Kane has won two Stanley Cup championships since he captured a silver medal with the U.S. team in 2010. Kane feels like his "all-around game" has improved since then. He does not expect to have a leadership role on the team.

"Last time around obviously we had a tough break there in the finals, but we were able to come away with the sliver medal, and I don't think anyone even expected us to get that far," Kane said. "This year, there's more expectations probably on our country and our group as a whole, so hopefully we can produce and come up big when the time rolls around."