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Chicago Blackhawks: Time to Give Brandon Pirri His Shot at Second-Line Center

Brandon Pirri led the AHL in scoring. Will that merit a shot at cracking the Blackhawks' lineup?
Brandon Pirri led the AHL in scoring. Will that merit a shot at cracking the Blackhawks' lineup?Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Jon FromiSenior Analyst IApril 23, 2013

The Chicago Blackhawks have been looking for some offensive punch in the middle of their second forward line for ages. The organization has a player who can potentially fill that role. As the regular season winds down, it's time to kick the tires on prospect Brandon Pirri.

Dave Bolland, who has been battling injuries of late, left Monday's 3-1 loss in Vancouver with a lower body injury, according to ESPNChicago.com's Scott Powers. With no current roster limits, several Rockford players whose AHL seasons are over figure to get the call to join the team very soon.

It's time to recall Pirri and toss him into the second-line mix. This should start Wednesday night in Edmonton.

Pirri just turned 22 and completed his third professional season in Rockford. If the 'Hawks wanted to see a maturation in his game, they had plenty to take in.

Pirri has not yet appeared with Chicago in 2013. He did, however, play in all 76 of Rockford's games. All he managed to do was to lead the AHL in scoring with 75 points (22 goals, 53 assists). Twelve of those points came in his last four games.

So, let's recap.

The 'Hawks have a prospect that not only led his league in points but is currently white hot. Chicago has the Western Conference locked up and have three games in which they could take a look at a prospect or two. Plus, there is a good chance Bolland is going to be rested for at least a couple of games.

It seems giving Pirri a game or two on the second line is a no-brainer. What more does the guy have to do to earn at least a test drive with Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp?

Do I expect Pirri to light up the NHL as he did the competition that came through Rockford this season? Of course not. However, I'd like to see if he can improve on the weak numbers put up by Bolland on the offensive side.

The 'Hawks have been sitting on newly signed college star Drew LeBlanc for the last week or so. You could speculate that Chicago could toss him into some game action with the regular season about to close. I'm going to suggest that the Blackhawks turn to Pirri first.

For whatever reason, the club has hesitated to give Pirri a real chance at showing what he could add to the team with his game. Let's see if his AHL scoring title can earn him that opportunity.

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