Brandon Pirri might feel like he’s at (or near) a low point in his NHL career, but perhaps he can turn things around by returning to the scene of his peak?
The Florida Panthers announced that they signed Pirri to a PTO on Tuesday. This continues Tuesday’s unspoken theme; the Colorado Avalanche invited Jared Cowen to their training camp on a tryout and the Calgary Flames reportedly did the same with Tanner Glass.
Pirri was the 59th pick of the 2009 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, and while he couldn’t stick with Chicago, former Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon continues to give him opportunities to make his mark elsewhere.
That was certainly the case when Pirri landed with the Florida Panthers.
Pirri split 2013-14 between Chicago and Florida, but his best work came next. He managed a Cy Young special of 22-2 (22 goals, two assists) in 49 games in 2014-15. In 2015-16, he generated a more balanced 14 goals and 15 assists for a career-high of 29 points, only he split time between the Panthers and Anaheim Ducks.
Pirri got lost in the shuffle of a deep New York Rangers offense in 2016-17, generating eight goals and 18 points in 60 games while averaging just 12:17 TOI per contest.
Strangely enough, Pirri’s never appeared in a postseason game at the NHL level.
At 26, Pirri likely understands that he needs to make the most of this latest opportunity. There are signs of skill there, yet he hasn’t really put it all together, and many believe that he’s a one-dimensional sniper.
The Panthers could use some help at forward with Jaromir Jagr out of town, though, so maybe the two sides will benefit from this reunion.