Former ‘Hawk Pirri getting opportunity with Panthers

Brandon Pirri came into the season with hopes of making the Chicago Blackhawks and becoming the second-line center for the Stanley Cup champs.

It didn’t work out that way, and now the talented 22-year-old is in Florida, where he was traded prior to the deadline.

With the Panthers, Pirri has 12 points (6G, 6A) in 19 games. Not bad production on a team that struggles to put the puck in the net. Florida’s leading scorer is Scottie Upshall, with just 37 points.

In Chicago, it was Pirri’s defensive abilities that people always wondered about.

“It’s something that maybe was a knock on me when I was a first-year pro four years ago,” he said, per the Sun-Sentinel. “But it has improved every year, and it’s a matter of staying consistent and showing coaches that I bring the same thing every shift.”

Panthers coach Peter Horachek likes the offense Pirri creates, but at the same time believes that “there’s a long ways to go for all these young guys as far as playing a complete game, playing a 200-foot game, not just playing in one direction.”

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