Sep 25, 2013, 2:26 PM EST
Michal Handzus isn’t your prototypical second-line center on a Stanley Cup-winning team. At 36 years old, he’ll only make $1 million in 2013-14, a far cry from what other top-six pivots around the league are making.
But for now, the 2C job with the Chicago Blackhawks appears his, just as it was for most of last year’s championship playoff run. And he aims to keep it that way.
“If you play well, they’re going to keep you there,” Handzus said, per Mark Lazerus of the Sun-Times.
After Handzus, the next likeliest candidate for the role is probably young Brandon Pirri. The 22-year-old led the AHL in scoring last season, racking up 75 points in 76 games with the Rockford IceHogs.
But Pirri has had to deal with a lower-body injury during training camp, limiting him to just one preseason game, and there’s reason to believe he may be headed back to Rockford once the ‘Hawks make their final cuts.
Is Pirri frustrated with the speed of his rise up the ranks of the organization? Perhaps.
“I’ve been here three years,” he said. “I think they know what I can do.”
But it’s a long season. Injuries happen. Handzus may not be up to the challenge. Chances are, Pirri will get to show he belongs in the NHL at some point in 2013-14, even if it’s not in Tuesday’s opener at home to Washington.
Related: Saad back to the wing for ‘Hawks
- Report: Alfredsson retirement to be announced Dec. 4 0
- On the odds of fighting back after Thanksgiving 6
- Why are the Oilers still bad? Look at their drafting 20
- The Leafs are worth almost seven times the Panthers, says Forbes 15
- Isles make some history; Are the Flyers headed for trouble? 42
- Crosby, Malkin power Penguins, help Fleury grab 300th win 5
- Sooner than later? Bruins GM hopes Chara can return in 10-14 days 1
- With worst save percentage in NHL, Oilers fire goalie coach 22
- Pat Quinn, ‘one of hockey’s most respected individuals,’ has died 14
- NHL on NBCSN: Bruins seek perfect game vs. Penguins 8
- Video: Milan Lucic calls Dalton Prout one-punch ‘gutless’ (99)
- Prout drops Lucic: ‘As far as I was concerned we were engaged in a fight’ (88)
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now (79)
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (58)
- Bruins’ Lucic expected to play against Habs after getting one-punched (Updated) (47)