By Jay Zawaski-
(CBS) On Wednesday morning, the Blackhawks announced that they’ve recalled forwards Jeremy Morin and Joakim Nordstrom, and have demoted center Brandon Pirri to Rockford.
In mid-November, it seemed that Pirri had turned the corner and solidified his spot as the second-line center, a position that has eluded the Blackhawks since well before they were relevant. During that stretch, he recorded six points in six games spanning 11 days. However, he hasn’t recorded a single point in his last eight games. He’s also been getting slaughtered at the faceoff dot, where he’s only winning 42.4% of his draws.
This is a young player stuck in a bit of a rookie rut. Perhaps a little bit of time in Rockford, where he led the entire AHL in scoring last season, will benefit his offensive output. Rest assured, we have not seen the last of Pirri.
Morin has spent much of the season in Quenneville’s doghouse. At least that’s the perception. He’s been up and down a couple of time this season. It will be interesting to see if he gets an extended look this time around. I think a long stretch of consecutive games would work wonders for his game. To be in and out night after night is challenging for any player, especially a player trying to find his NHL game.
Nordstrom made the team after an impressive training camp and preseason, but after eight regular season game, it became apparent he wasn’t NHL-ready. His biggest detriment is his frame. I’m not sure how much he’s bulked up in a month in Rockford. I’m going to guess not much.
I’m not a fan of Pirri’s demotion. The Hawks would be best served to leave him at the 2C slot, and let him grow where he will likely spend most of his NHL career. The demotion may be a quick “confidence builder” if you believe in those things, but scoring and dominating against inferior competition isn’t helping his game develop.
The Blackhawks also sent defenseman Michael Kostka to Rockford for a conditioning stint. He had missed the last month and a half with a dreaded “lower body injury.”
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