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Blackhawks Sign Bollig To Extension, Trade Pirri

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 3, 2014 5:35PM

As the NHL's Wednesday trade deadline approaches and Blackhawks fans looking for the team to make major noise in response to St. Louis' acquisitions of Buffalo Center Steve Ott and goalie Ryan Miller may be disappointed. General manager Stan Bowman told Saturday the Blackhawks have all they need to make another Stanley Cup run with their current team makeup.

That still didn't stop Bowman from working to reinforce his house. He traded center Brandon Pirri to the Florida Panthers Sunday night in exchange for a 2014 first round draft pick and a third round pick in 2016. As WSCR-AM's Jay Zawaski noted, the Hawks were expecting huge things from Pirri heading into training camp but that has not materialized. He hadn't scored a point in his final 12 games with the Hawks, was demoted to Rockford in the AHL Feb. 6 and was in coach Joel Quenneville's doghouse. Quenneville was openly critical of Pirri's two-way play, particularly his defense.

On Monday the Blackhawks announced they signed forward Brandon Bollig to a three-year contract extension. Bollig doesn't have Patrick Kane's stickhandling skills but what he does bring to the team is defense and toughness. He leads the team with 138 hits and 69 penalty minutes.

The moves keep in line with the Blackhawks' philosophy of building a deep farm system while keeping the core players capable of leading the team to a deep playoff run in place and with two Stanley Cup championships since 2010, the plan is a solid one. There have been rumblings the Hawks should go after Vancouver's Ryan Kesler but it appears as though Kesler may wind up in Pittsburgh before the deadline as talks between the Penguins and Canucks have intensified in recent days.