Chicago Sun-Times

Brandon Pirri, Marcus Kruger among Blackhawks cuts

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The Blackhawks cut one of the more impressive players at training camp and one of the more disappointing on Monday after wrapping up preseason play.

Centers Brandon Pirri and Marcus Kruger were among the players assigned to the Rockford IceHogs. Also sent the American Hockey League were defenseman Dylan Olsen, winger Jimmy Hayes and center Peter LeBlanc.

Pirri stood out throughout exhibition play, recording a team-high four goals and five points. With Viktor Stalberg (leg) and Ben Smith (concussion) recovering from injuries, it was thought that Pirri had a decent shot at making the Hawks, who could use an extra center. But it wasn't meant to be. Smith has recovered fast and could practice this week, while Stalberg also has made progress.

Still, he impressed the Hawks.

"[Pirri has] got some skill,'' coach Joel Quenneville said recently. ''He's been a producer his whole life. He sees plays. He's quicker in his game, and he's patient with the puck more than he was. He has a nice finish around the net, so it's been a nice camp for him."

Kruger came into camp with high expectations after being touted by general manager Stan Bowman when he was added to the team late last season. But he failed to stand out in any preseason game. Quenneville said he had an "OK" camp, adding that Kruger needed to work on his strength and quickness. So he was bound for more seasoning in Rockford.

After goalie Alexander Salak was assigned to Rockford later Monday, there are now 26 players remaining on the Hawks roster, including Jeremy Morin and Philippe Paradis. But Morin (concussion) and Paradis are still both expected to be sent to the IceHogs by Wednesday. The Hawks have to be down to 23 players by 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The Hawks are working on signing rookie Brandon Saad to his three-year, entry-level deal. So he will at least start the year with the Hawks.

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2 Comments

WOW!.... I got that wrong(and so did many others). I thought Pirri was in.

I had Pirri in and Kruger out. Out of the remaining 4 (Morin and Paradis for certain)
I also have John Scott and Ray Emery. I'd actually be upset if it was any other way.
John Scott deserves an NHL roster spot as much as I do.

Ray Emery DOESN'T deserve that position. Yes, I know they wish him to be on the team. They felt Salak needed a little more time in net and what better place than Rockford. However, He'll get his playing time but Emery doesn't deserve that Indian Head sweater. Do whats RIGHT Hawks...


If that is what happens. Saad, I think doesn't have to fear being sent down to the minors. I think the 2nd round rookie has MADE the team.

I think the only reason Morin and Paradis are there on the roster is for medical purposes. That is it. How bad is Morin's concussion. How bad is Paradis injuyry?

Late NOTE: Hawks just sign Ray Emery. WOW!!!! Meaning they had every intention of sending Salak down. His camp tryout was nothing more than a "look-see" not a true tryout. The Hawks really want a veteran goaltender backing up Crawford.
Guess my next WOW will be the Hawks keep J. Scott too? Find out soon.
So,...Morin, Paradis, Salak and Scott?......As a Hawks fan,...I'm upset they kept Emery and sent down a well deserved Pirri. (I still in my heart hope they trade away Bickell and his useless 240 pound frame so a deserving player like J.Hayes or R.Klinkhammer can make the squad....Here's to hoping...Cheers).

Pirri has to be depressed. He rocked in preseason. I'm sure he thought he was a lock.

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on October 3, 2011 10:10 AM.

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