Pirri trade not a surprise
The day after saying he liked the makeup of his team, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman traded minor-league center Brandon Pirri to Florida for two draft picks Sunday.
Could he have gotten more for Pirri, the American Hockey League's leading scorer last season? Maybe, but you never know what others think of your players until you make them available.
Did Bowman and the Hawks give up too soon on Pirri? Again, it's possible, but he was in the organization four years and coach Joel Quenneville had real issues with his 200-foot game.
Besides, Teuvo Teravainen, the Hawks' No. 1 draft pick from 2012, should be ready next season to handle the No. 2 center position.
"I think in our organization, he's one of those guys that, as depth goes along, you like him, you appreciate him, eventually he'll get his turn," Quenneville said of Pirri. "In Florida, he's definitely going to get his turn and it's likely now. I think his upside is going to be in the right place.
"I think our depth has put us in a position where we're comfortable with the move and you know, some guys at this stage of their development, they're ready for that step. We feel he's probably ready, but I think we like what we have and what we have coming."
A lot of fans want the Hawks to go out and trade for Canucks center Ryan Kesler before Wednesday's deadline, but that's not going to happen. Kesler makes too much money and Vancouver GM Mike Gillis hasn't even said the veteran is available.
It might be too risky for the Canucks to move Kesler anyway now that Daniel Sedin is hurt. Sedin went into the boards awkwardly in Sunday's Heritage Classic against Ottawa.
When Bowman says he likes this team as is, I believe him. Not even St. Louis trading with Buffalo for goalie Ryan Miller and center Steve Ott will force the Hawks into a reactionary trade.
"We're really happy with the team we have," Bowman said Saturday. "We made our big move back in November (for Kris Versteeg). We've got as great group hare and there's a lot of chemistry with our guys."
As for the Blues loading up, the Hawks are more than willing to let is all play out.
"The Blues have been a great team all year," Bowman said. "Even if you go back to last year, they've been a tough opponent. You know that if you're going to get to the Final, you've got to play some really good teams along the way and beat them. So I think we're going to have to play really, really strong to beat them if we face them down the road.
"We're trying not to be a reactionary team and do what we do well and focus on our own preparation. I don't think it makes sense to do something just because another team made a move. If they hadn't don't anything it wouldn't have changed our approach."
That's the approach the players have taken too.
"They got one of the best goaltenders in the league," Corey Crawford said. "That's a big move for them. They are trying to make a push for a big run at the Cup, but we're not too worried about what other teams are doing. We just want to make sure we're where we need to be come playoff time."
Said Patrick Sharp: "They obviously improved their team and they were a great team before the trade. It doesn't really change our mindset as the Blackhawks. We know that St. Louis is going to be a team we're going to have to go through in the regular season and the playoffs."
Quenneville likes his team as it stands.
"I think we're fine," Quenneville said. "We like our team. A lot of teams are looking to add, so it makes it even more competitive. I think we like where we're at and we'll see how it all sorts out."