Chicago Blackhawks Brandon Mashinter vs. Edmonton Oilers (Photo courtesty of Liam Richards, The Canadian Press)
The Chicago Blackhawks seem to have solved their second line center issues with the addition of Brad Richards via free agency. Now that Brandon Bollig (one of the staples on the 4th line last season) has been traded away to cut costs, they now are focusing on the new 4th line pairing and final round of cuts before the regular season starts. Currently Brandon Mashinter and Jeremy Morin are trying to make a case on why the Chicago Blackhawks should keep them on the NHL roster instead of sending them to the Rockford IceHogs for further development in the farm system. Today I will be comparing the two players and discussing what each of them brings to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Brandon Mashinter brings the same big bodied style of play that was lost when Brandon Bollig was traded during the offseason. After the trade happened Brandon Mashinter was called upon and given the opportunity to take that spot on the roster, so he knows what is expected. Not only is the physical play needed on the 4th line, a complete all-around game on both sides of the puck is expected from coach Quenneville. His physical play is backed by his 6-foot-4, 220 pound frame and during Sunday’s preseason game vs. the Edmonton Oilers he took part in his first fight of the preseason against Kale Kessy. According to hockeyfights.com voters, 94.1% voted that Brandon Mashinter got the better of Kale Kessy but you can always see for yourself at the previous link.
During his 47 games with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs last year, Mashinter scored 14 goals and 14 assists so he has proven he can bring some needed offense also. I would expect for him to make the roster after Cody Bass and Pierre-Cedric Labrie were placed on waivers following their cut from the team. He will definitely be under the radar these next few games so keep an eye out for the coach’s final decision.