Brandon Pirri knew his name was involved in trade rumors leading up to the March 5 deadline, so it likely wasn't a huge shock when he learned he was dealt to the Florida Panthers.
After posting big numbers in the American Hockey League and putting on a strong performance during training camp at the start of this season, Pirri had his good moments with the Blackhawks. But with the depth of the Blackhawks' organization, earning a spot on the big stage isn't easy, and Pirri was unable to crack the roster on a regular basis.
On Friday morning, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman joined 670 The Score and talked about the decision to deal Pirri for a pair of draft picks.
"It wasn't so much that there were things we didn't see," Bowman said about Pirri. "Players develop at different rates, and I think Brandon is at a point now where he can play in the NHL. We fast-forward to next September, and his contract status is different. He can't go to the American Hockey League anymore, he'd have to be exposed to waivers, and it's very unlikely that he would have passed through waivers. So he was gonna have to automatically be on our team.
"There's a good chance he could have made our team right out of camp, but as we sit here today, I wasn't 100 percent sure he would be the player out — we have (Teuvo Teravainen and) some other good players coming. Because of that, the longer you hold onto him, his value goes down because teams know they're not gonna trade for a player next September when they could pick him off waivers. Some of it is managing the time with things, and I think Brandon's gonna be a good NHL player.
"There's nothing wrong with the way he plays, he's talented and he's put up a lot of offense," Bowman continued. "He's definitely grown. But we've got some good players that we're excited about as well and it's your job to sort of look ahead and be sure. If he's not gonna be on your team, then the timing was right to get some value for him."