The Panthers finally blew some wind into the quietness that was summer this week by announcing they had given former Panther Brandon Pirri and depth forward Harry Zolnierczky PTOs. Pirri and Zolnierczyk will compete with several prospects for bottom 6 roles.
Career Stats: 226 Games Played; 57-41-98
Position: All Around Forward
Teams: Chicago Blackhawks (2010-14; 35 GP); Florida Panthers (2014-16; 122 GP); Anaheim Ducks (2016; 5 GP); New York Rangers (2016-17; 60 GP)
After a long time up and down in the Chicago system, Pirri was traded to the Panthers at the 2013-14 trade deadline for a 2014 3rd rounder (traded to Nashville) and 2016 5th rounder (traded to St Louis). Pirri opened eyes with 14 points in the final 21 games of 2013-14. The next year battling injuries, Pirri played in 49 games and averaged 0.45 goals per game with 22 in total. Pirri also set a rare stat milestone in becoming one of the few players to score 20+ goals with only 2 assists. Pirri would struggle in 2015-16 becoming useless except on the powerplay. He was traded in an awful deal to Anaheim for a 6th rounder. After injuries derailed him there, he went to New York and scored 8 goals.
Pros and Cons
Pro: Goal Scorer: Pirri has 57 goals to his name and the 23rd ranked goals for Panthers need as much help as they can get after sending 30 goal scorer Jon Marchessault to Vegas. Pirri probably won’t get much time 5 on 5 but he would be a great DH to use in the shootout or powerplay. Hopefully Pirri can help this team score goals.
Pro: Power Play Man: Pirri has 18 powerplay goals in his career and no need for hemming and hawwing but the powerplay is atrocius. I’d perfer it if the refs never called fouls on opponents who do stuff to us because our powerplay is so bad. However, Pirri can change that. We need a powerplay specialist and Pirri is the man
Con: Terrible Defensively. Pirri is atrocius on defense. I’ve seen kindergarteners play better defense aganist NHLers than Pirri can. He is a defensive liability which caused him trouble with Coach Gerard Gallant and the Rowe lineup of the front office. With Nick Bjugstad already a defensive liability and the weak pair of Yandle and Demers, Pirri is not a good idea defensively.
Verdict: This could go either way. He is an excellent goal scorer but the defensive thing just hangs over him like a cloud. I really am indifferent about what happens to him at camp.
13 points in 84 games with 7 goals. No thanks.