Blackhawks Recall Brandon Pirri

On Monday morning the Blackhawks announced that center Brandon Pirri has been recalled from Rockford.

In 24 games with the Hawks earlier this year, Pirri scored six goals and was credited with five assists. In 16 games with Rockford, he has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) and recently returned from injury. Pirri had two assists in the IceHogs’ win over Milwaukee on Saturday night.

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74 Responses to Blackhawks Recall Brandon Pirri

  1. RyanDale says:

    there’s a novel idea

  2. JS says:

    *slow clap*

    Please put the blankie down, Q.

  3. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Great. Pirri the Rockford Wonder Dog is back for his 432nd NHL trial. Can’t skate worth a damn and is a liability on defense and makes a shit-ton of stupid mistakes with the puck. Yeah, this will work out well. I get it about sitting Handzus, but for crying out loud this is a non-factor move.

    I would have called up Joakim Nordstrom. As last night vividly illustrated, the Hawks SORELY miss the skating ability and two-way play of Frolik. SORELY miss. And we also miss the forward defensive intensity that the enigmatic Bolland brought to the table. Pirri solves none of the dilemma. Neither would Morin. Right now the Hawks need forward help that can S.K.A.T.E. and can play with defensive responsibility and effectiveness.

    But alas Sr. Brad and JS are no doubt doing cartwheels becausae Pirri the Rockford Wonder Dog is back. Facepalm.

  4. RyanDale says:

    ^ tell us Rufus, what was that Thanksgiving pronouncement of yours again?

  5. Goldenbladz says:

    I’m glad someone from Rockford is coming. Now send Kostka down and put Handzus on waivers and bring in some guys that can skate. This team is built on possession and speed. No more anchors please

  6. JS says:

    Second line centers do not need to be defensively responsible. If the “4th line” (really the 3rd line) is being used as the checking line, the second line is going to typically get the best zone starts and relatively soft competition.

    Where is Danault, Rufus? Oh, struggling to contribute at the AHL level? Your eye for talent is OUTSTANDING.

    Pirri is better than Handzus. The Hawks are improved.

    10-19-81
    20-37-88
    29-65-23
    52-16-28

    But knowing Q, he will probably just skate Pirri 6 minutes a night and Bowman will just send him back down.

    I’m interested to see who takes Handzus spot on the penalty kill.

    Wait, who am I fooling, Handzus will still start.

  7. Peter says:

    JS, I thought the same thing…that Handzus will still start. I like the 2nd line you have and think Saad would be enough to balance out the defense a) as long as Kane stays defensively aware which he will if he feels he can get rewarded offensively and b) the 2nd line gets majority o zone starts against other offensive minded lines. I actually think your lineup with Zus and Nordstrom and only one of the 7th Dman(s) is a nice team.

  8. Mike says:

    Rufus, I don’t know. I agree that Pirri is not the ideal 2C and as a young guy with only 31 NHL games under his belt, 24 this year, he is GREEN.
    BUT it seems some good things happen when he is around. The stat line tells part of the story

    Zues: 37 games, 4g 6a 10pts -2
    Pirri: 24 games, 6g 5a 11pts +6 and is selective with his shots shootiong a whooping 19.4%

    And by the way, I like Nordstrom, but Pirri makes more sense right now.

  9. JS says:

    Frolik had 3 goals and 7 assists and a +5 in 45 games played last season.

    Ben Smith has 6 goals and 9 assists and +2 in 47 games played.

    Frolik did have a much better Corsi, but he also didn’t face nearly as difficult of competition as Ben Smith does.

    Can we PLEASE get over former Hawks? Like seriously. I understand you get an attachment to people that played here, but that doesn’t mean they were better than what they were.

  10. Sr. Brad says:

    Good news…Pirri did well while he was here, and Kane is ready to explode, so the timing should be right…in fact, I see this as potentially the move to put the Hawks over the top, IF, this means Handzus is the one out…Bickell is making $4 million a year…he’s in…Bollig has come alive (like Peter Frampton) on the 4th line…its Zus…he’s DONE as a regular contributor in the NHL…and that’s not Bowman’s fault…bringing Zus back was a bit of a calculated move, but a solid one…if Zus was played along the lines of Rosival he wouldn’t have become the liability he is…and Zus “might” be able to help us situationally moving forward, who knows, but for the Hawks to win games they have to roll 4 lines, and as JS said so well, Pirri’s presence on the 2nd line gives us that ability…not that Pirri is the greatest player in the world, but he’s a smart, true centre, who can make plays…and that’s all Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad need…

    So, let’s look at Wall’s lineup…

    Sharp-Toews-Hossa
    Saad-Pirri-Kane
    Bickell-Shaw-Versteeg
    Bollig-Kruger-Smith

    The key is getting Bickell together with Shaw and Versteeg…this is the line we were all drooling about when the deal for Versteeg was made and somehow Q never put it together (go figure)…this, along with his benching, will force Bickell alive, and this line has the ability to dominate as a 3rd line.

    Pirri will feed and setup Kane and Saad…and Sharp will get back to scoring sooner than later…Our 4th line, right now, shows the ability to hold its own against the opposition’s top lines…so it puts us back in the driver’s seat…

    Personally dip sh$t, uh, I mean rufus, I would have preferred to see Garret Ross come up and Steeger play centre, plus I think Morin should be up here too…but I am fine with Pirri as he’s a playmaker and a true centre…I notice how you NEVER mention Garret Ross and your touting of Danault has fallen off a cliff…its all right, we all know it…your full of sh$t…that is, when you take those moments to stop parroting everything I, JS, Wall, Peter, Phil, Mike, Neggz, Ryan and ER say…

    Oh, and as for the 4 lines thing…check our record out when we do this, and when we don’t…and did you happen to hear or read Toews comments after the game last night? No? Maybe check them out, I posted them on the WIN game analysis…finally, I guess I understand why you don’t ever admit that your wrong…because if you did, it would become a full time job…

  11. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    At BEST, Pirri has been brought up (again) to be a stopgap (again). He solves none of the current dilemma of skating ability, effort, special teams and defensive intensity. He will be right back in Q’s doghouse, and rightfully so, just as soon as he fuck’s up once again. Which he will invariably do because he isn’t really NHL material. Certainly NOT on a playoff team.

  12. Tab Bamford says:

    Rufus might hate Pirri, but the reality is that anyone at 2C right now is little more than a stopgap if the organization views Teravainen as a center at the NHL level.

    And to the point that he’s “certainly not [NHL material] on a playoff team” – people said that about Bollig last year & his name is engraved on the Cup. And people said that about Sopel & Boynton in 2010 and their names are on the Cup. For all of the faults many love to point about about Quenneville on a daily basis, he’s won 2 Cups with guys on his roster that, in the eyes of the Rufus’ of the world, had no business on a “championship roster.”

  13. Sr. Brad says:

    The only problem with your latest “hate tirade” is that the FACTS are against you…the ONLY thing that you have to go on, is that for some inexplicable reason, Q dumped Pirri from minutes and then the lineup…because Pirri’s STATS show that he did belong and so does our record…Pirri went into a scoring slump when Q forced defence first on him, and then cut his minutes…in fact Q could write a book on “How to Screw Up an Young Prospect’s Mind”…because he’s the master…

    Also, Kane’s scoring and our record perpetually got worse after Pirri was sent down…I am not sure if Brandon Pirri is our 2nd line centre moving forward, but I will guarantee you he will be somebodies…

  14. Sr. Brad says:

    Tab, a month into the Pirri “experiment, I honestly thought the Hawks had finally found their 2nd line centre…but with TT’s progression exclusively at Centre, its clear the Hawks view him as such, and if they do then no one has a shot there, as you have to believe that TT has a BRIGHT future in Chicago.

  15. Sr. Brad says:

    And for all those uni-minds (and likely brows) out there that think a single criticism of Q makes a person a Q hater…sit down, take any sharp objects out of your hands, and relax…Q knows hockey inside and out…and he’s a tremendous bench coach…and remember this, its because of Q’s system of our forwards back checking, and team defence first, that we have 2 SC rings in 4 years…but that does NOT make him perfect.

    He’s old school and has obvious biases for “old dogs”…plus Q has a childish stubborn streak that could put Lucy from the Peanut’s gang to shame…

    Sorry if that’s frustrating for you, but likely so was finding out the Earth was round too…

  16. Sr. Brad says:

    And one last point rufus on your Nick Leddy comments…in his last 8 games Leddy has NOT been on the ice for an even strength goal…now, can you actually imagine that? With our team struggles, and being paired with Rozy, BB, Kostka and even Seabrook, not once did he chalk up a MINUS…

    Last season Leddy had one of the highest +/- numbers on the entire team…a team that won the SC…and in the last 2 or 3 games, Leddy has been one of the team leaders in Corsi #’s.

    But sure, without a viable option for his replacement, lets trade him for another ancient forward…I don’t see Leddy going ANYWHERE…he’s only going to get better…the player that will be going somewhere is Johhny Oduya…this summer…

  17. Goldenbladz says:

    Yes I agree, if we can keep Leddy and move Oduya that would be best for the team and the cap.

  18. ebonyraptor says:

    As with most things … “it depends”. Recalling Pirri may be a good move or one of little impact – it depends. It depends who sits while Pirri plays and how Q constructs the lineup. If Pirri plays 2C, not a given but most likely, that moves Shaw to the 3rd line, but will he play 3C between Bickell and Versteeg with Handzus scratched – or does Q scratch Bickell with Handzus still in the lineup somewhere?

    If Pirri displaces Handzus in the lineup, my opinion is it will be a net gain. If Pirri displaces Bickell or someone else, my opinion is it will be at best a net wash and at worse a net loss.

    I think the real reason for recalling Pirri is to help Kane get out of his slump. Even if it means giving up some defensive ability. It shouldn’t be this way in a team sport, but it sure seems like the Hawks went into their swoon at the same time Kane did. Can Kane’s scoring be more than points on the scoreboard? Meaning can Kane’s scoring raise the confidence of the whoe team so that the reverse is also true. Kane has that swagger and when he is going well it seems to permeate the team. When he is struggling it seems like the team doesn’t have that same cocksure confidence.

    At this point, trying just about anything is better than doing nothing.

  19. MS says:

    I certainly hope that Pirri gets a chance to work with the 2nd line and play more than 8 or 9 minutes a game. That said I don’t see him as the answer when we hit the playoffs. During the playoffs we need to be much stronger in our defensive zone and the physical demands on the centers is significant. Handzus did an excellent job last year in this regard although there has been no evidence of his ability to repeat that role this year. I still am of the opinion that SB will make a move before the deadline – perhaps Sr. Brad is right that Pirri will end up as someone else’s center prospect as part of a deal.

  20. Al L says:

    Sr Brad, you have NO right to be looking down your nose at ANYONE that has an opinion different than yours. It is Obvious that you think you are smarter than the 3rd winningest coach in the NHL and a sure HOF candidate and have made your dissatisfaction for him prevalent throughout the year. It is also obvious that you are a wanna be coach and a wanna be sportswriter. Have you noticed that your posts are 2-5 times longer than anyone here. I am surprised that you haven’t mentioned your “friends” in the NHL yet. But I am sure you will come back with a nice shot towards me as being some uni-brow because I believe that Q has a pulse on what’s going on in his locker room better that any of the fans, especially one that is sitting in front of his computer in his underwear in his moms basement wishing HE was someone special.

  21. Al L says:

    One last thing. your comment on he could right a book on how to screw up a young prospects mind. Towes, Kane, Smith, Bickell (up to this point), Krueger, Leddy,Shaw, and Saad all seem to have done well. I sure he screwed up with the likes of Cam Barker, or Jack Skille. Oh wait, do they still play hockey? Maybe he kknows which players are mentally tough and which ones aren’t.

  22. wall says:

    Boys and Girls…it still come down to Bickell and his knees/attitude!!!
    JS- I am not overly concerned about 29′s stat line- or do I expect to score like he did in PO’s… BUT – you have to admit that he has skated poorly (and I agree – I actually saw a little hope/speed in last few games)- and that 3rd line (which was fantastic for most of last year- has been Hawks weakest line for the majority of this year) has consistently been disappointing!!!

    Kane will score again…Pirri/could/should help… But if Bickell skates like shit… the “roll four lines theory” is mute!!!

  23. Tab Bamford says:

    re: Al L – I love where your head’s at… but I’ll fall on the grenade for you. Kane & Toews are elite… & both came up w/ Denis Savard as head coach. Not Quenneville.

    With that being said, Kruger (NO ‘e’), Leddy, Shaw, Saad & Bollig do make a case that Quenneville has allowed a kid to play thru rookie ups & downs. What is frustrating is that Bollig gets regular ice time but a kid that produces in the A – like Pirri & Morin – gets sent back

  24. Al L says:

    Thanks Tab, but didn’t Savard get fired early in their career? As for Bolling, I REALLY think that he has improved immensely and for the price, is a solid fourth line team guy which EVERY team needs.

  25. wall says:

    I am with Tab and Brad… Morin would be better than skating a D-man and/or 52…
    Yes, he makes mistakes… but way more upside… and until last 4-5 games Bollig has been MIA for much of the season…

  26. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Good move but what is the corresponding roster move, I haven’t watched the Hawks recently been traveling is someone hurt? If anything the Hawks recent slide is a blessing because it puts the spotlight on Stan to tweek this roster. Last years team was nearly flawless, this seasons edition surprisingly is not even though its basically the same cast of Characters.

    Whats even more interesting is last seasons some players that had “down” seasons are on fire. Shape and Seabrook mainly. Hammer is playing at an amazing level but this team is not clicking like last season.

    Stan is a smart man they will make the right moves moving forward.

  27. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Sr. Brad is a world class asshole who throws the esteemed and successful Joel Quennville under the bus daily. He also dazzles us with 2,000 word manifestos that can be summed up in one simpleton statement…”roll four lines.” The fuck twat has diarrhea of the keyboard.

    This team is gassed mentally and sobering reality is they may not have a legitimate Cup run left in them for 2014. It’s got very little to do with coaching decisions despite what the resident fuck twat tries to convince the lemmings on otherwise. This team isn’t as deep…this team lost invaluable skating ability…this team got a tad selfish in focusing on things like getting Sharp and Olympic bid…this team seems generally satisfied with coasting out of a necessity they perceive to be able to have enough in the tank once the playoffs commence…this team is suffering from the stagnation of role players in Bickell and Leddy…this team didn’t get what it bargained for in Versteeg and the aforementioned Bickell…this team has a critical gap at Center.

    This team is likely looking at a early playoff exit. It is what it is and Bowman would tell you in a moment of honesty that it is / was sorta expected after a hyper kinetic Cup run in 2013.

  28. jeff says:

    Glad to hear Pirri is coming back. Bout time.

  29. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Rufus I am going to whole heartly disagree with you on this team being an “easy out” in the playoffs. Think back a few games ago when the Ducks/Boston came to town this team elavated their game and rose to the occasion. I believe this team can absolutely do that again in the playoffs and will. I also they can do it being any seed 1st-8th.

    I will agree that this team is tired and this team has a big target on them they are the cup champs and everytime they take the ice they get their oppositions best game. This a long season which is why depth is critical. Teams that play the Hawks and don’t put forth max effort get soundly beaten.

    This club is much closer to the top then the bottom. Too much talent and heart on this club for an early exit. This isnt the 8th seed team w Campoli that lost to the Nucks or the flawed team that lost to Phx in OT after OT albeit w Mike Smith playing superman in net for them. I don’t care if they lose a game to bottom feeders like the Jets or a slumping Wild team this is a good roster going through a lag in a long season w Olympics.

    to continue w the last comments, I wonder if the Leddy experience is over. Shouldnt we be seeinf more progression out of him at this stage? I know his pairing have been awful but still. 2 years on his current deal right?

  30. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    This team will win another Cup. Or two. But it is improbable in my view in 2014. Too damned difficult in today’s NHL to get to the Finals in back to back seasons. And believe Toews, Keith, et al know they sobering reality, hence why this team is “conciously limping” to the playoffs under the premise if conserving energy and having enough left in the tank when the playoff bell rings. It’s an arrogant yet understandable approach. The problem is it is a longshot to work.

  31. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Leddy has clear talent. But I believe his days in the Indianhead sweater are numbered. He will bring something back of definite value however. But clear Q and Bowman don’t see the longer term fit. Not at his pricetag which will only escalate. Clendening will fill his role and then some with NHL games under his belt. And despite what some say Adam can skate very well. Not the raw speed of Leddy but more useful skating ability that is better system fit.

  32. Goldenbladz says:

    Sorry Rufus I don’t agree and profanity is only funny when comedians and your buddies do it. The Hawks have the tools for sure but the coach has to be willing to use all the tools available. The Penguins has used half of their Ahl squad all year and still play strong so it is possible

  33. Pete says:

    I think the Hawks are tired. I think they should bring up some of the kids from Rockford and play them more. Even if we lose a few more games its worth it to have fresh legs for the playoffs and one or two of them might develop faster so they can contribute in the playoffs. Pirri should be up all year, same with Morin and maybe one or two others who have the talent. Warhorses on their last legs isn’t what we need to round out the team. Brookbank and Kostka shouldn’t be on the team. There is no future there and they are just blocking somebody else with talent from coming up and playing. Handzus should be part time at this point of his career. I would like to have him off the team, but he saved the Hawks against Detroit last year in the playoff’s with that goal so he has earned the right to stay on the team in a reduced role playing every few games. Its only a couple of players, but I think it makes a difference.

  34. ereignis says:

    Off-topic, though this is slightly related to the hypothesis that Sharp is gassed because of an attempt to showcase him for Team Canada. I thought this was an interesting post comparing season-long ice-time averages for the Hawks by Scott Powers from a week ago:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/blackhawks/post/_/id/4679734/hawks-by-the-numbers-breaking-down-ice-time?ex_cid=espnapi_public

    While some players’ time is up this year, interestingly, the only players playing significantly more (say, more than 30 seconds a game) are Toews and Bollig. I’m sure there’s an easy answer for Toews’ numbers, though I don’t have any off the top of my head. Bollig’s time is obviously due to him solidifying as a regular on the fourth line. The Sharp Olympic showcase notion seems contradicted by the fact that he’s only playing three seconds more per game this year, which is negligible. Perhaps he was pushing himself harder, but my recollection of him is that he’s generally been pretty streaky, except in the playoffs, where he has been more consistent. Given the small outlay of role players after last season, I’m a little surprised that more players’ ice times haven’t increased more than they have.

  35. noonan96 says:

    Rufus, while I do agree with many of your thoughts–not so much on Pirri, as he is the best 2C option they have at this point-the foul language is beyond tiresome, it’s pretty lame.

  36. Morrison says:

    Yea, take her easy. The language is not necessary to get point across. 37 is the better option that we CURRENTLY have for 2nd line.

    What is the deal with the deadline cap space. Do we have 1.1 or 4.4 because its prorated… for last 20 games. Bowman is going to make a deadline deal.

    Everyone (even Ruff) is pulling for you 37, play good.

    I think that 37 will play good and stay on roster the rest of season/playoffs or be in a trade for a good player. Whatever happens with Pirri he will be playing in NHL the rest of season.

    When will it be a full 12mths since Steegers injury/repair. If Bicks can get back up to speed around the same time, that could make a huge difference. I can imagine a 100% healthy Bicks, Shawzer, Steeger line on a war path.

  37. JS says:

    The Hawks can’t win the Cup again because they don’t have Frolik and Stalberg! Yep, this is what people are saying.

    Slumps happen in an 82 game season. People really need to stop overreacting. It’s not like they are getting blown out in any of these games, they just aren’t scoring.

    The love for Bollig is ridiculous. He’s the worst player on the roster and this can’t be argued. You can’t possibly talk about the Hawks needing better skaters and then defend Bollig and Handzus.

    The Hawks are still the #1 seed in their division (although St Louis will likely pass them when they catch up in games played). Losing a few games in the middle of the season means nothing. Bickell needs to get healthy and Q needs to figure out how to put the lineup together. That’s it.

  38. wall says:

    Mo- the difference is that Bickell has not had surgery to repair 2 sprained knees…
    If those knees are slightly/partially torn (speaking from experience) they do not cause pain…but they feel very swollen, and “wonky” while skating- like they are going to bend the wrong way…if 29 is experiencing this…NOT a lot of hope for him-until off season surgery (and no guarantees from there)

    JS- Hawks can win w/o Frolik/Stalberg… they ARE replaceable ( Q just hasn’t found right guy-or right guy is a year or two away)… BUT 29′s $4M??? that is going to be a tough Pill to swallow!!!

    I hope I am wrong about 29′s knees…and he is just a little Bi-polar right now…

  39. AJ says:

    The whole complaining about Bickell is getting old. And stupid.

    Seabrook has been for the most part awful this year. If anyone should sit, he would be a good place to start. Toews has the quietest 49 points playing between one of the best post lockout scorers and hall of famer (Hossa) as well as a high level finisher (Sharp). When was the last time he “took over” a game and made time stop with his awesomeness? I really can’t remember. And don’t give me the grindy BS, oh he wins face offs and does the little things… Neat… That hasn’t put the puck in the net the last month when it mattered. Oduya could use a day off.

    Shaw hasn’t been able to click with Kane the last few games. Kane hasn’t been finishing, though he is noticeable on the ice. You’d like to think that Saad will go off soon but at least he is noticeable on the ice (unlike the captain who is hiding between two Titans).

    But seriously, lets beat up on a guy who has had a few major injuries a few months ago and far from the reason they are dropping points right now. Or even Crawford who has been no less than excellent in January. Get real.

  40. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    I like Kris Versteeg. But he isn’t remotely the player he was in 2010 and I now FULLY understand why he has moved arond so much in recent years. The guy isn’t helping on the ice…he really isn’t. The default excuse of his line pairings being the culprit is marginal (very) explanation. He isn’t skating well too. Don’t know if its the recovery time at work or he’s just hit a different stage of career or whay.

    Net presence on this team is terrible. Bickell was supposed to be “the guy” in this department and has been a colossal disappointment who I hope is a healthy scratch for a few more games. I’ll even indict Brandon Saad in this department. He’s been getting too cute and become a bit of a one trick pony on the rush. He needs to step up.

    Sharp needs to recalibrate. This will be heresay on this blog, but fact is he’s become a greedy bastard with the puck this season. Patrick, you made the Canadian Olympic team…you can stop taking ill advised shots on goal, start cycling the puck, move around to the boards, etc.

    Oduya, who is underrated, also needs to find his second wind. He’s important to what the Hawks do and he’s been struggling and looking tired for a month. Which he wasn’t going to Sochi.

  41. JS says:

    Kris Versteeg has been one of the best possession players on the Hawks over the past month. STOP SAYING THINGS THAT ARE FLAT OUT WRONG. Seriously. Kris Versteeg has been perfectly fine since getting here. He’s shooting a good percentage, his possession numbers are really good, and he’s been defensively responsible.

    Stop saying things that are wrong. Stop saying things that are wrong. Stop saying things that are wrong. Stop saying things that are wrong. Stop saying things that are wrong….

  42. Tab Bamford says:

    So, Rufus, you’re saying that the Kris Versteeg that skated with Dave Bolland & Andrew Ladd & Dustin Byfuglien in 2010 performed better than the Kris Versteeg that is now skating with Michal Handzus and Ben Smith/Brandon Bollig/Michael Kostka/Sheldon Brookbank?

    Brilliant.

  43. wall says:

    AJ- you must be related to George Steinbrenner… Cuz spending $4Million on a “healthy” scratch/dog isn’t a Concern for you!!!! REALLY???

    Your right that is an “old and stupid” complaint.
    Furthermore- if he is dogging it due to injury… seems like a more prudent option would be to IR him and let a HOG get some ice time- while possibly banking a little cap space… (I assume the IR/space works that way)

  44. JS says:

    Wall- I still remember when we were sitting around talking about the type of money Bickell would get, the general feeling was not not judge the money he gets based upon his regular season play.

    Bickell is still recovering from his knee injury. He’s skating better lately and actually contributing in a positive way. The more he plays, the better he will get. I’m not sure what people are expecting from him, but they are expecting way too much. And if you think $4M over 4 years is bad, some team probably would have been stupid enough to give him Clarkson money.

  45. AJ says:

    After watching the Blackhawks the past 4 years, even at 100% health, it is foolish to think that Bickell would magically turn into any kind of net presence and a 20/30 +200 hit player. That rationale blows my mind and is beyond illogical.

    (With bleeding sarcasm) Probably Crawford’s fault for not being elite enough…

  46. JS says:

    I think a healthy Bickell getting top line minutes and top PP minutes would easily be a 20/30 guy. Easily.

  47. Peter says:

    Bickell got the 4 million, (which is a lot of money, but not a ton relative to other “big” players) because of the end of the season and playoffs last year. I honestly don’t know that his contract has been that much of a disappointment yet because he has been hurt and has never been a consistent regular season scorer. Unfortunately, we are going to need judge his contract relative to the post season.

    I don’t get to watch the Hawks often enough, but the last time Toews willed the Blackhawks to victory was Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals…and I’m fine with that.

    It is going to be extremely interesting to me on how the lines and D-pairs will shake out tonight.

  48. JS says:

    Also, last thought on Bickell:

    He’s in the first year of a 4 year deal. Declaring it a disaster with under 40 games played is just misguided.

  49. MS says:

    Wow – Am I really reading “Seabrook sucks”, “Toews isn’t dominant enough”, “Sharp is a puck-hog”? Using this logic the only acceptable outcome is to win every game by a large margin and walk through the playoffs! While I believe the Hawks have issues to address let’s keep in mind that the parity in the NHL is approaching the NFL. This is not the NBA folks, every night is a tough game. I live in LA and watched Winnipeg come in to Anaheim (top team in the league) and beat them last week. There are daily examples of these kind of results. So let’s take a few deep breaths and step back from the ledge – most of the other teams would kill to have our “issues”.

  50. Peter says:

    Yeah, the Seabrook sucks comment caught me off-guard too…because then I don’t know what you would have called his performance last year the entire season until Game 4 vs. the Red Wings.

  51. wall says:

    Once again… 29 not scoring @ 20g’s,30a…isn’t my issue… it’s the 3rd line giving pretty much nothing (except few games when Saad was there)… is the issue… mostly falls on 29/not skating, competing… OR they really miss 25… or both… + the fact they have skated 7th/8th D-man there…

  52. wall says:

    And yes I know 25 didn’t play much in PO’s… which leads to more blame on 29…
    And I am not calling Hawks out on a bad contract… guys get hurt… BUT if he is Hurt/80%…sit him and give time/experience to someone who is 100%!!!!

    It just keeps pointing to– guy needs surgery… is waiting for Summer and trying to “play thru it”…we will see out that plays out

  53. AJ says:

    Seabrook has had, if not a poor, than terribly inconsistent year. He has not been good and Keith being under the weather has exposed that even more. Last year is irrelevant when discussing todays performance.

    And no, for me, Toews is not influencing the game the way a super star aught to. If he was they would be at least .500 in January. Last 5 games 2 points and -2 is unacceptable. 2 goals the entire of January is pretty barf. Far from the best center in the league right now. These slumps are supposed to be when “captain serious” puts the lads on his shoulders and wills them to victory… He’s doing a great job with that.

    Kane has had an awful January statistically as well but shooting 2.6%. It is also a bit unrealistic to expect him to do the captains job for the entire year, ESPECIALLY playing with vastly inferior players. Not at all comparable to the comfortable line Toews is on where quite frankly, a decent center from any team in the NHL would be successful. Hell, Kruger has 23 points starting only 23% of shifts in the o-zone with Smith, Bollig and no power play time. You give him the 60% Toews gets with Hossa and Sharp and I promise you he gets a big money deal.

    But seriously lets trash the guy who makes a middling salary, had two major injuries at the end of last season and enough of one to sit out for several weeks this year. Awesome analysis.

    Hudler, Stafford, Jones, Roy, Simmonds, Franzen, Dubinsky, Booth — are comparable salaries. Booth makes 4.5 — This is really not at all a disaster of a contract. The NMC is stupid but the money itself is reasonable.

  54. wall says:

    AJ- I appreciate the fire…AND actually agree w/ you on 19/16 comments…
    BUT-
    1.) if I were a fan of the team’s that employ those listed, overpaid bums- I would complain about them too!!!
    2.) for 2nd/3rd time…not complaining about 29′s contract (other than it will be hard to dump/if he is injured and never returns to form/ not really in his control)
    3.) not complaining about 29′s points
    4.) complaining about — IF- he is not 100%…SHOULDN’T Hawks skate others???

    Lastly- Doesn’t take a hockey guru to see the guy hasn’t been skating well!!!!!!
    (and as JS has mentioned- I also have seen a “couple of bursts from 29 recently”- but still no sustained skating/play)
    No where do I mention- not scoring, not producing, not getting net presence!!!
    I agree- 29 has never been consistent on the above three.

    Just like Bollig bashing a couple weeks ago- 52- is paid to be energy guy, hit, etc.- I don’t care if he scores… But if I don’t see him in the screen but see 16/28 involved…
    I have to say “WTF energy guy”

  55. Tab Bamford says:

    Interesting note from CBS’s Elliotte Friedman in his 30 Thoughts column this morning:

    “[Pirri] loses waiver-exempt status for next season, so it’s a big moment for him and for the organization’s evaluation of him. Remember, the Anaheim Ducks traded Peter Holland rather than lose him for nothing.”

    More here: http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2014/01/nhl-gms-deal-with-double-trade-deadline.html

  56. Joey Zamboni says:

    What happened to all the “playoff match ups” talk…………?????

    Can’t we all just enjoy having an ELITE team in Chicago to watch & root for….????

    I remember the “bad old days” and I choose to enjoy watching these high level athletes do the amazing things they do on the ice.

    I appreciate everyone passion and understand that WE ALL want the Hawks to do well, but we tend to over analyze things. It’s HOCKEY not brain surgery so lets sit back enjoy a frosty one & cheer our boys on!!!

    I hope I’m not coming across as judgmental, I welcome ALL opinions & I’m just stating mine……

  57. Skip Chinski says:

    I believe Hawks will show case him for a trade. He was not happy when they sent him down earlier in the season. That’s WHY he got hurt.( out a few weeks )
    Hope hawks START WINNING…..

  58. wall says:

    Tab- good find on article…
    IMO- it is a foregone conclusion- that Hawks will move Pirri at some point…his skating isn’t up to snuff w/ Hawks style-and not an energy guy… he could be effective elsewhere in a different system…
    But I really like the comparison w/ P. Holland – statistically/AHL #’s at least…
    Tab/anyone- what did Ducks get for Holland???

  59. wall says:

    After further review…the Ducks didn’t get much…but still SB-could find another Shaw type in lower picks!!!we can hope

  60. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Pirri’s trade value is a used ice shovel. Lets not get carried away boys and girls.

    Nobody has been a bigger fan of Bickell. But lets be honest…he has been horrendously bad. Unimaginably bad. Very, very, very pre and post injury bad. The trickle down impact has been hugely felt. He got paid and proceeded to change. If I’m Q I set his ass for several games while simultaneously putting my shoe up his ass.

  61. Skip Chinski says:

    If Q. sets the big B. Does he still get paid??

  62. Peter says:

    So the lines appear to be:
    10-19-81
    23-Pirri-Kane
    29-65-20
    and I can’t find the fourth line.

  63. JS says:

    Yes, Skip. Only sport without guaranteed money is football.

    Pirri was centering Versteeg and Kane today. Not sure why Saad isn’t still on that line unless Q wants Versteeg there for faceoffs.

    Also, just to add-on to Rufus not knowing anything about how front offices work: John Scott was traded for a 5th round pick. Dan Carcillo was traded for a 6th (I think?). Handzus, who was a press box hero, was traded for a 4th.

    A young player still on his ELC should have value that can net you a Kruger, Shaw, or Ross.

  64. JS says:

    Lines:

    10-19-81
    23-37-88
    29-65-20
    52-16-28

    No Handzus. What!?!

    I still don’t get why Saad and Versteeg are both playing their off-wing… but Q has 2 rings so we’ll have to trust him.

  65. Skip Chinski says:

    Yes Q has 2 rings… But many of us could coach those teams to the CUP
    Q is TOOOOOO old and he only does what Bowman TELLS HIM

  66. Peter says:

    I think the composite 2nd line is a little strange too, but the 3rd line looks like a possession monster. Maybe the 2nd line is going to get a majority of the o zone draws…Versteeg is responsible D wise, but a little slower than we are used to seeing him…not a ton of D on that line.

  67. AJ says:

    wall, no they should not skate others. They should skate Bickell into shape and deal with the bumps. They are going to make the playoffs. Like last year, and even in limited exposure before hand, a healthy Bickell can make important contributions and short term failures must be tolerated to give the best possible chance for success down the road.

    And like I posted earlier, Toews dominates or Kane shoots at 8-10% and this month is completely different.

    ANNNNND, explain to me how the only player outside of Toews and Sharp to show chemistry with Kane is moved away from him (Saad). That is absolutely baffling. Personal and roster decisions are leaving a lot to be desired this year.

  68. Sr. Brad says:

    First, as JS and others are saying there are NOT big problems in Chicago…we are barely losing these games, and often dominate games we lose…we simply have a problem right now with Q and his lineups…the guy has NEVER been great at picking out lineups, and he has even admitted that himself.

    Zus is no longer a day to day centre in the NHL…accept it, get over it, and move on…when the Hawks roll 4 lines, each line stays fresh, this means they can consistently execute Q’s BRILLIANT system of forwards back checking and team defence…when we shorten the bench and double shift, the forwards get tired and sometimes lazy, and our undersized Defence gets exposed…but when our forwards dominate with consistent back checking, it looks like we have 4 Norris Trophy candidates..its that simple.

    Bringing Pirri back up is huge BECAUSE it puts Shaw back on the 3rd line with Bicks and Steeger…and with Bickell, remember, prior to his injury, even though he wasn’t scoring a ton, there wasn’t any wrong with his play…we were dominating with him on that 3rd line…Pirri is a puck possession guy, and feeds his wingers…he will set up Saad and Kaner and they will both start scoring again…the 4th line is on fire right now…all of this takes the pressure off of the top line, and Sharpy will start scoring again…

    While CC has NOT played to his salary levels, he isn’t bad…he’s a tad inconsistent for my liking, but if we roll 4 lines again, CC’s goaltending is more than good enough to win us another cup…so for rufus and others that are belittling the Hawk’s chances at another Cup again this season, think again…bringing Pirri up and likely Morin, Ross or Nordstrom is exactly what this team needs to put them over the top…

    And to al and rufus comments about my criticizing Q…again, actually READ what I say…Q is a huge reason the Hawks have won 2 Cups…his system of play is the perfect recipe for all the offensive minded talent we possess…without Q we might not have won a Cup yet…but, he is old school…he is stubborn and he is lousy with his lineup card…and his decision to somehow defend Zus in the wake of Bollig and Bickell struggling is what directly cost us at least 10 points…sorry fellas, you have to take the good with the bad…

  69. JS says:

    I can only assume he’s foreign, Tab

    My issue with Q is that he is 100% a “gut” guy. While I don’t think numbers tell 100% of the story (yet), I like when they are used for lineups. The eye test made it easy to tell that the second line was useless with Handzus at center… that eye test was backed up by numbers. That was FINALLY changed after 30 games.

    Now, Kane and Saad have been most productive this season when playing together. That could be for a number of reasons, but I imagine Saad playing LW helps. So Q breaks them up and puts Saad on his off wing because…? No idea.

    Trying to figure out why Q makes the decisions he does is enough to land someone in a padded room for a few months.

  70. Sr. Brad says:

    Gee, Versteeg on the 2nd line…maybe Steeger hasn’t been as bad as rufus thinks…he has to agree with this because it was Q who put Versteeg on the 2nd line…

  71. Morrison says:

    I am not going to a padded room for saying this, but I think Q has 20 & 23 on those opposite sides of rink is for shooting. For the D is usually forehand on the wall side, maybe for F its a faster release when receiving a pass to shoot forehand/than across your body to get to the forehand. Other than that, when they go back to their normal side they play even better because their more comfortable/used to it and then do not think as much just play. Jedi mind trick/Dunlop mind fuck.

  72. wall says:

    AJ- I don’t claim to know the extent of 29′s injured knees…
    BUT- speaking from experience- IF (big IF) his knee ligament(s) are partially torn…”skating him into shape” as you suggest- probably won’t WORK… nor will it mend/repair a half torn MCL!!!!

    Once again… I know they have doctors/staff/trainers/MRI’s…but until you actually go inside the knee… it is not an exact science measuring sprain and degree of sprain until you open a guy up and insert a scope.

    I play basketball all the time w/ partially/fully torn (according to my doctor) ligament… doesn’t bother me… It completely bothers me when I skate because of inside-out motion on knee!!!!

    Brad- I will disagree w/ your comment on “nothing wrong w/ 29′s play prior to injury”
    he wasn’t playing/skating well prior-IMO

    And I don’t get the off wing 20/23 stuff either!!!

  73. Sr. Brad says:

    Wall, I don’t think that Bicks was great, but more along the lines that his play didn’t hurt us…he was being physical and scored the odd goal…not worth $4 million, but as JS reminded us, he wasn’t paid purely for his 82 game #s…with Bicks, it will always be what he does in the playoffs…the problem now with Bickell is that his effort has dropped and that effects every aspect of one’s game…and that’s something Bickell won’t be able to turn on and off at the turn of a switch…he needs to put the WORK back into his game…

    And to rufus and others who only rip Pirri, when Pirri was rolling here as the 2nd line centre (BTW, anyone remember how rufus failed to show up at all during Pirri and Morin’s big run?), the talk here and around the league was that we had found our 2nd line centre and that if Pirri kept this up we wouldn’t be able to afford him…

    Its a funny world…

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