All-Star Game MVP is an accomplishment only a select few people on this earth can lay claim to. At the professional level, that accomplishment carries a lot of weight.
It should be no surprise then for Chicago Blackhawks fans that Brandon Pirri was named the MVP of the AHL All-Star Game. Last year, he was the AHL’s scoring champion, amassing 75 points in 76 games. Yet, the player who scored two goals and added an assist in his league’s All-Star game is unlikely to find a permanent home in the NHL.
Whether it is a case of Joel Quenneville’s inescapable doghouse, or the fact that the Blackhawks have bolstered their center depth with the addition of Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Pirri’s NHL career will remain clouded.
That is bad news for Pirri, who will likely lose a possible roster spot to European prospect Teuvo Teravainen next season. Pirri’s defense has always been the big question at the next level, and despite being a +6 in the NHL, he has failed to score a point since November 17. In the AHL, Pirri is a -6 despite scoring at a higher clip.
Where does Pirri go from here? Well, the walls are certainly closing in on him. Regin is currently on the NHL roster thanks to the Olympic roster freeze, and it is unclear who will alternate at center between Regin, Bouchard, Pirri, Andrew Shaw and Olympian Michal Handzus.
Pirri’s NHL opportunities with the Blackhawks seem to be dwindling, despite his value remaining high, if not growing. The Blackhawks will have to be careful with such a talent, but it is unclear how much patience, if any, Pirri’s performance added with Blackhawks brass.
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