Analysis

3 Options the Chicago Blackhawks Should Explore With Perlini

By Ryan Fedrau
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 11: Brendan Perlini #11 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates his second goal of the game against the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center on March 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 11: Brendan Perlini #11 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates his second goal of the game against the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center on March 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Now that the Chicago Blackhawks have traded Artem Anisimov, their focus shifts to Brendan Perlini who is an RFA.

With a lot of young talent coming to Chicago over the last few years, one of the most slept on players since his draft in 2014 is Brendan Perlini.

Perlini, 23, so far hasn’t gotten any offers to play in the NHL next season by any team. As an RFA, Chicago does own his rights.

It is very important to keep that DeBrincat-Strome-Perlini line together going into the 2019/20 NHL season.

During his first season as a Chicago Blackhawks, Perlini played 46 games with 12 goals and 3 assists. Those numbers aren’t shocking or mind-boggling but the chemistry Perlini had towards the end of the year on that second line with Strome and DeBrincat could improve his game.

Now, Chicago shouldn’t offer him a huge contract with a no-movement clause, but he does deserve a second chance to play 82-games in a Blackhawks sweater.

The Blackhawks could very well offer him a one year “show me” deal where if he impresses the staff, he can get a long-term contract to stay in Chicago for the foreseeable future.

What’s the Plan With Brendan Perlini?

Option 1: 4th Line Center

The Chicago Blackhawks just traded Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators. Not re-signing Marcus Kruger and losing Anisimov gives them a small hole at center.

For a long time, Kruger was the go-to bottom-6 center. Giving Perlini that role could be actually a really smart idea. Coach Colliton has done some interesting things since taking over the reins as head coach in November of 2018.

Giving Perlini that one year “show me” deal could be a really good chance to see what he can do at center. If it doesn’t work, you can move him around, or try to trade him.

Option 2: 2nd Line Winger

Now, last season, Perlini played the majority of the 46 games on that hot 2nd line with Strome and DeBrincat. Perlini even recorded a hat trick with those guys.

Giving him a full year in Chicago and his 2nd line RW job back with that one year “show me” deal could add the pressure needed to Perlini to hopefully get the best out of him.

Not many people will agree, but he played decent on that line and at least deserves a second chance in a Blackhawks uniform.

Option 3: Rockford IceHogs

At the end of the day, Perlini might be stuck signing a 2-way deal with the Chicago Blackhawks to keep his NHL dreams alive.

Sending him down to the Rockford IceHogs to see what he can do in the AHL, and maybe help develop his game to that next level the Blackhawks are looking for out of him, is also an option.

Perlini and Nylander on the same line with both players having a lot to prove would be interesting.

This isn’t to say Perlini isn’t NHL worthy, because he is, it just gives Chicago options with him to have him play in the AHL and bring him up when necessary.

This could be the best of all 3 options. It gives Chicago flexibility with Perlini and keeps him around for at least another season.

With the roster only having a few spots up for grabs, it is important to keep Perlini around. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

I’m sure the Blackhawks would rather keep him than let him go somewhere else and turn into the stud that Chicago and Arizona initially saw in him.

If Brendan Perlini is willing to sign a 2-way deal with the Blackhawks, he needs to be signed now. If he plays hardball, declines a 2-way deal, and doesn’t want to play in the AHL, that is when you could try to find a trade partner for draft picks or a prospect.

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