Blackhawks send second line hopeful Pirri to AHL


It looks like Michal Handzus will be Chicago’s second line center to start the season.

After tonight’s final preseason game, the Blackhawks sent hopeful second line candidate Brandon Pirri along with winger Jeremy Morin and goalie Antti Raanta to AHL Rockford.

Much has been made of the competition through training camp for the right to play between Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa. Handzus was essentially auditioning to keep his job and fending off Chicago’s 2009 third-round pick in Pirri was his final battle. Second-year forward Brandon Saad was in the running early on before he was moved back to wing.

The demotions put Chicago’s roster at 24 players and one more cut to make. Expect a defenseman, either Ryan Stanton or Mike Kostka, to be the last to go. Chicago opens the season on Tuesday night at home against Washington at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.