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Chicago Blackhawks: ‘Ex-Hawks’ Filled With Champions

By Matt Barbato
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Feb 21, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Winnipeg Jets right wing Michael Frolik (67) lines up before a face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Jets 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

3rd line – Michael Frolik (Calgary Flames)-Brandon Pirri (Florida Panthers)-Jimmy Hayes (Boston Bruins)

This is the most diverse line on the Ex-Hawks in terms of skill sets. Frolik is an excellent two-way forward who can score 20 goals a season and kill penalties with ease.

Pirri is a sniper and not a play-maker, as shown by his 22 goals and only two assists for the Panthers last season. However, his possession numbers are good (52.3 Corsi-for percentage last season). He is a one-way forward and mainly takes offensive-zone starts.

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  • After making brief appearances with the Blackhawks, Hayes seemed to have figured it out in Florida. He scored 19 goals and 16 assists last season for the Panthers and can bully opponents when necessary. He could earn a spot in the top six for Boston next year.

    Frolik and Hayes are capable of playing against opponents’ top fixtures, but Pirri may bring down the unit defensively. There is a ton of talent on the first and second lines of the Ex-Hawks, but this unit’s role is tough to define. Theoretically, it should take more of a defensive stance, but a two-way center is probably a necessity to match up against top lines.

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