Blackhawks: The Role Brandon Pirri Could Play In Chicago
By Ryan Fedrau
The Chicago Blackhawks have traded Dylan Sikura to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Brandon Pirri. Here’s the role Pirri could play in Chicago.
The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired Brandon Pirri for Dylan Sikura in their first trade of the offseason. Pirri was drafted by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2009 NHL draft. The 29-year-old has had an interesting career, spanning over 275-NHL games with 121-points.
Pirri is 4-years older than Sikura. Pirri has 2-years left on his contract, where he makes $775,000 AAV per season. Sikura makes $750,000 AAV.
During the regular season, Sikura spent most of his season with the Rockford IceHogs, as he only saw 9-games in the NHL. Pirri played in 16-games for the Golden Knights.
So what role will Pirri play in Chicago? He could have been brought in to play a bottom-six role for the team, though it is likely he will spend more time in Rockford than up in the NHL.
Unless Pirri and Sikura can turn their careers around in their new homes, it’s likely to see both players in the AHL. Likely enough for Sikura, Vegas’ minor league team is in Chicago. He won’t have to pack up all of his stuff.
While playing for the Blackhawks in 2020-21, I could see Pirri fitting nicely on that fourth-line center role, eliminating the need for an overpriced Zack Smith. The issue is, can Pirri be a consistent center on the fourth line?
At the end of it, this was a trade that doesn’t make sense, as Sikura is younger and makes less money. This looks like another Stan Bowman trade where he brings back a former player, just for fun.
This is a wasted trade and I don’t see it making much of an impact. It would have been different if Chicago was saving money, instead of adding $25,000 AAV. It isn’t a lot of money being added but every penny counts, especially when you’re in a salary-cap crunch.
I’m hoping this trade turns into something special but the likely-hood of this changing anything is close to zero. We’ll have more of an idea of what Pirri will be doing for this team when training camp starts in a few months. If he’s in the NHL next season, great! If he’s in the AHL next season, this didn’t do anything for the Blackhawks.