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Quenneville used to dislike cutting guys, but now he’s cool with it

Sep 23, 2013, 5:48 PM EDT

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The Blackhawks say they have approximately six guys gunning for a “couple” of roster spots this season.

So, there will be cuts.

While normally the toughest part of any coach’s job (save Homer Simpson), Joel Quenneville has become more comfortable with the idea of giving someone the axe.

“Earlier on it might have been a little more challenging,” Quenneville told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Now I don’t mind it at all.”

The ‘Hawks are pretty much set on defense and in goal, meaning the lone spots up for grabs are at forward, where the club is looking to replace the likes of Michael Frolik, Dave Bolland and Viktor Stalberg.

Some names have already been chopped from consideration. Kyle Beach was put on waivers earlier today and Chicago previously bid farewell to 2012 first-rounder Teuvo Teravainen.

So, who’s still gunning for a job?

21-year-old Brandon Pirri, the club’s second-round pick at the ’09 Draft, is a name that continues to pop up. Pirri led AHL Rockford in scoring last season (75 points in 76 games) and has seven games of NHL experience under his belt.

Speaking of NHL experience, the likes of Jimmy Hayes (41 gmaes), Ben Smith (20) and Jeremy Morin (15) should also make a push for a job.

Whatever Quenneville’s decision is, it’ll have to happen soon. Chicago has just two preseason games and eight days left until it opens at home against Washington on Oct. 1.

  1. imleftcoast - Sep 23, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Ben Smith played well in the Finals. I wish my team had problems like that.

    • esracerx46 - Sep 23, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      Yep all 1 game he played. Smith is Kane’s age but Ive always liked him. He takes Frolik’s spot. I always like Morin over Hayes, but I dont know after this preseason. Good problems to have:)

  2. jacketsfan7 - Sep 23, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    That’s a hard choice
    Between pirri , smitty , and Hayes

  3. esracerx46 - Sep 23, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    I think they keep Pirri at 2nd line center. Smith on the 4th line. The question is whether their is room for Morin or Hayes. I dont think their is.

  4. jernster21 - Sep 23, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Well, he is in a pretty envious position being the head coach of two Stanley Cup winning teams – the decisions should be pretty easy based on who comes to play during camp because they want to play on a team with a bunch of super stars with a chance to compete for a cup each year. If you have a bunch of dud’s in camp on a team like that it’s time to dump and change.

  5. georgejarkko - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    You too, shushy.

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