The Hawks are now left with 26 players on the active roster after sending 5 players, plus a goaltender to Rockford. You might be just a tad surprised at who did not make the cut, I know I was.
Jimmy Hayes, Marcus Kruger, Peter LeBlanc and I can't believe I am typing this, Brandon Pirri are all headed to Rockford. This still leaves a few cuts to be made by Wednesday. Also joining these 5 young men is goaltender Alexander Salak, who most obviously beat out Ray Emery for the position of CC's back-up. I guess the training camp had no real influence on the choice.
I can get behind the Salak decision. He wouldn't get much playing time as Crow's back-up and he needs to fix some loose ends. He might be better suited to do that in Rockford (seeing more playing time), even though out shining Emery in preseason play.
The giant look of confusion on my face is due to the Pirri move. Sending him down makes one wonder what a player has to do to make the roster. I can again make the same argument as I did with Salak. More playing time will help him develop better, but I just can't get behind it on this one. Pirri might have been the best performance by any player game for game through the entirety of training camp. Not only was he good, but he was consistently good, averaged a goal a game, and happens to play the position that had an opening heading into the camp in the first place.
I see this as a giant mistake and it does little to calm my concerns created by our Hawk's play over the past few games. Pirri proved good enough to see 3rd line ice-time which would improve on his development over playing in Rockford, and we would be able to forgo the Kane at center idea. Once again, we head into the start of the season with doubt looming, confusion among line combos and the defense lacking spirit. Someone flip that switch, because it is game time.