I will admit that I was SHOCKED to see that Brandon Pirri was sent back down to the Rockford Ice Hogs. What?
In addition, the Hawks also activated Mike Kostka and then proceeded to bus him to Rockford, as well. This move wasn't so shocking.
Then the Hawks recalled Jeremy Morin (shocking,...I love him up with the Hawks...but still shocking) and Joakim Nordstrom gets his second crack at the big club (ultra-shocking).
Hawks have at center: Toews, Shaw, Handzus and Kruger. Versteeg can play center also, and so can new call up Nordstrom.
Maybe they want Pirri to work on a few things. I don't see this as a long term move. I also don't see Nordstrom or J-Mo as long term moves either.
I will keep you abreast on what lines are being created. But, the last time that Nordstrom was up with the big boys, our PK was the single worst in the league.
**** It appears the reason for Morin and Nordstrom were because Shaw and Handzus are NOT traveling to Minnesota. Kostka is a "reconditioning" assignment...so expect him back with the Hawks real soon.****
Maybe Coach Q wants to shake things up a bit. Make sure that NO ONE is too comfortable with playing up with the Hawks. As I said before, I do expect at least 10 Rockford Ice Hogs to be up with the Hawks throughout the year. Especially with the extended year and the fact that last year they had a jam packed shortened season.
Other moves I do expect. Something has to be done about Khabibulin. His play has not earned him a spot. However, financial issues, the cap issues all come in to play here. They can't just send Khabi down. They could cut him, but they lose that cap space. With the LTIR situation, they can keep Khabibulin out for at least 10 games. As I said before, the injury to Khabibulin was the best thing for both Nikolai and the Hawks. But,...something will need to be done. Most likely if they HAVE to bring Khabi back,...Raanta will get sent back down, even if he is doing well. That sucks, but it's the reality of the cap.
Nordstrom: has already played 8 games with the Hawks. This will be his 2nd stint with the Hawks.
Morin: Morin will be back and forth with the Hawks unless he can PROVE that he can play both ends of the ice and that he DESERVES to be up with the Hawks.
Mills: I was surprised to see this move. But, he's back in Rockford. He may get another crack later on. Who knows?
Raanta: He's done magnificently so far. But, the cap is the cap, and he may have to go back. He is the future back up of the Hawks. That is a fact!
Kostka: healthy scratch half of the time he was healthy, and this will be his first stint back in the AHL since he got injured.
Jimmy Hayes: Now with the Florida Panthers. He started off with the Hawks. He's a big guy that just couldn't earn that 4th line spot so the Hawks sent him packing in order to get Kris Versteeg.
Who else could get a call up?
Danault, Clendening, Broadhurst, McNeill. WHO KNOWS? I will admit that NOBODY saw Nordstrom coming before the season started. And I bet no one saw Mills ever making the team,...even if it was for a short while. So, it is going to be interesting how long Morin and Nordstrom stay. I'll keep my ears pealed to what appears to be going on underneath the surface. They're always doing things for future consideration....that is why they're great.
Over/Under for Pirri staying? I would give it <10 NHL games.