Panthers scratch Pirri amid trade rumblings

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Some interesting stuff out of Florida this morning — Brandon Pirri, one of just eight Panthers to have appeared in all 46 games this year, is going to be a healthy scratch tonight when the Cats host the Blackhawks at BB&T.

The development is interesting in light of what TSN senior correspondent Gary Lawless tweeted minutes prior to the announcement:

Per the Miami Herald, head coach Gerard Gallant shot down the trade angle, saying the move was designed so Pirri could “bounce back.”

There could be something to Gallant’s remarks.

Pirri is pointless in his last six games, though his TOI is hardly reflective — he played 14:44 against Edmonton on Monday, his highest total of the month, and responded by firing a team-high five shots on goal.

It’s also curious that Gallant would scratch Pirri for a game against Chicago, the organization that drafted him in 2009 and gave him his NHL debut one year later.

On the year Pirri has nine goals and 21 points, sitting seventh on the team in scoring. He’s coming off a strong ’14-15 campaign in which he finished second on the Panthers with 22 goals, two back of team leader Nick Bjugstad.