Brandon Pirri has been at the center of trade rumors since the Chicago Blackhawks traded for Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Peter Regin just before the Olympic roster freeze. The former second-round draft pick and reigning AHL scoring champion has been given a few spotty chances to fill in as Chicago’s No. 2 center this season, but has mostly been shuttled between the minors and pros.
With Regin seemingly the team’s new go-to guy on the second line, suddenly Pirri’s future with the Blackhawks is very much in doubt. The 22-year-old spoke to CSNChicago.com about how it felt to be a trade rumor recently and said:
I don’t know how to feel. It’s the first time I’ve been involved in something like this where there have been rumors flying around. But at the same time, I’m not worrying about it. Just come down and help this team win. It’s out of my control. It’s up to the management in Chicago to do what they feel is right. I’m just looking for that opportunity wherever it may be.
The reason that Pirri has struggled to stick with the ‘Hawks this year is because of his defensive lapses. He’s improved his 200-foot game in the minors over the last few years, and seemingly needs to go to a team where he’ll be allowed to make a few mistakes in the NHL. After all, that’s how young players learn.
Forwards like Pirri don’t become available for trade all that often. His pedigree is outstanding, he’s an accomplished minor leaguer and recently was the AHL All-Star Game MVP. All of this doesn’t guarantee success in the NHL, but it certainly indicates that Pirri might be a better player than he can be in Chicago.
While there are bigger names rumored to be available after the Olympic break, Pirri might be the most interesting of all.
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