• Elite Hockey Experience

Penguins Player Powwow: Brandon Saad


PITTSBURGH - With the regular season at the halfway point, the team is going to be all systems go for trying to get back into the playoff race, and while one would think player access would be difficult to come by, I was fortunate enough to get a sit down with Brandon Saad to get his take on how the season is and what's going on with him.

Beat Writer: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with me, I realize you've got a lot going on so I appreciate it.
Brandon Saad: Not a problem, happy to be here.
B.W.: So let's start with the obvious, you are having a really good season this year after a pretty up and down year last year. What do you attribute that to?
B.S.: You know I think when you come into a new team, especially for me being from here, you want to make an impact right away and prove that they made the right decision to acquire you, and sometimes that can get into your head a bit, and then you try to do too much which limits what you can actually do.
B.W.: Is there maybe one or a couple of things that happened for you to get you in the right spot for this year?
B.S.: I think the big thing was at the end of the season last year, coach said to me that playoffs were a new season and to just play my game and be myself, and I think I had 3 goals there so obviously I was feeling good, and then to come into a full training camp and get to be with the boys from the start, it really helped.
B.W.: Last year we obviously saw you fluxuating up and down the lineup, spending time with Paul Stastny on the second line, but also on line three at times whether it was with Nick Bonino or Mark Letestu, and now you've been comfortably on line two with Paul again until a few games ago when you've been up with Bo Horvat and Jamie Benn, all while succeeding. Was there something that last years line juggling taught you?
B.S.: Obviously in this league even if you have big contracts or a history of scoring a lot of points, your spot is never guaranteed, and for me to fluxuate like that showed me that I just need to play the same way no matter who I'm with and do whatever I can to help the team, whether that's scoring goals, killing penalites, or hitting guys. It all plays a part.
B.W.: What do you make of your team's play so far this year?
B.S.: I think it's been good for the most part, our division is really tight and every point matters. We're obviously not where we want to be right now and we need to look within ourselves to see what we can do better to help the team win, but we have a good group of guys here who all want to win and play hard every night, just need to do a little bit more.
B.W.: So you are currently a pending restricted free agent. Have you or your agent had any discussions at all with GM Ian Gurtowski about a new contract?
B.S.: I can say we've had preliminary discussions to establish a baseline, but it's something we both want to take care of over the summer when we can actually sit down and hammer it out. I've made it clear that I love the city, love the team, and the boys and I see myself being a real important part of everything here. Especially that I'm from here, I want to represent the organization and be a difference maker here.
B.W.: Well Brandon, I really appreciate the time here, so thank you for that. Just one more question, for fun. Where is the best place to get Pierogies in Pittsburgh?
B.S.: *chuckles* There's a place called Stuff'd near our arena, so sometimes me and the boys will go there either after a weekend game or after morning skate. I've been trying to get (new Penguins players Colin White) Whitey and (Braydon Coburn) Coby to go out there with me. Still working on it, haha.


Both the Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are back in action tomorrow, March 17th, 2020/Day 97, with PIT facing off against the Colorado Avalanche, while WBS takes on the Charlotte Checkers