Earlier this week, we found out that the Anaheim Ducks did not extend a qualifying offer to their 25-year-old center Brandon Pirri. The Ducks acquired Pirri from the Florida Panthers at the trade deadline last February for a sixth-round draft pick. Due to an upper-body injury, he only suited up for Anaheim for nine regular season games but managed to record three goals and two assists.
Brandon Pirri did not receive a qualifying offer ($1.023 million) from #Ducks. He’s 25, had 14 goals and 29 points last year.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 27, 2016
The Ducks can still re-sign Pirri but it is highly unlikely now that he is an unrestricted free agent with the ability to sign anywhere for any price. There is no question that there will be quite a market for the center and the Philadelphia Flyers need to make sure they are doing what they can to put Pirri in an orange and black sweater for next season.
A Natural Scorer
Pirri was selected 59th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. He did not receive much of an opportunity to prove his worth in Chicago only playing in 35 games throughout four seasons before being traded to the Florida Panthers during the 2013-14 regular season. Pirri really began to strut his stuff once he joined the Panthers as he recorded 14 points in 21 games with them.
The 2014-15 season was a coming out party of sorts for Pirri. He only played in 49 games but managed to find the back of the net on 22 separate occasions. In his 166 games played in the NHL, Pirri has scored 49 goals and added 31 assists.
Great Fit For Flyers
The Flyers were one of the worst scoring teams last season ranking 22nd in the NHL in goals. It is obvious that they are in the market for a goal scorer and Pirri could very well be their guy. He is known for being a little shaky in his own zone and has struggled in the faceoff circle but this cannot deter Philadelphia from making him an offer. It is okay to have somebody on the roster who is simply out there to put up points and Pirri can still improve on the other aspects of his game.
The verdict is still out on whether or not Pirri can be a top-notch hockey player in the National Hockey League but there are definitely signs that he is capable. As mentioned before, there will be plenty of teams looking to add his services to their roster which could boost up his value. Luckily, his resume is simply too short for him to demand a crazy amount of money.
This is good news for Ron Hextall and the Flyers as they find themselves a little strapped for cash this summer. They just don’t have the cap space to go out and sign a guy like Kyle Okposo. Philadelphia has to get creative with obtaining a scorer which is why pursuing Pirri makes perfect sense. He is still young and has the potential to be a real game changer for the Flyers.
The 2016 NHL offseason has already proven to be an exciting one. It is safe to say that Philadelphia will not be participating in any jaw-dropping moves this summer due the salary cap. However, signing Brandon Pirri to a contract would still make this offseason a successful one for the Flyers.
John Gove is an elementary school educator who writes about hockey in his spare team. Over the past five years, John has covered the game at various levels. Now, he exclusively focuses his coverage on prospects and the developmental leagues.