After missing a chance earlier in the offseason to add Jaromir Jagr and Jussi Jokinen, the Vegas Golden Knights signed another former Florida Panther as they have inked Brandon Pirri to a contract Wednesday, per a tweet by Cap Friendly.
The 26-year-old center has had a bit of a strange offseason. First, reports surfaced that he had signed a one-year contract with the ZSC Lions of the National League, but when the deal was never officially announced he signed a professional tryout with the Panthers. Pirri failed to impress the club leading to his being released, allowing for the Golden Knights to snag the 226-game veteran. The deal is for one season at an average annual value of $650,000, and they have since placed him on waivers, likely to be sent to Chicago.
Originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the 2009 draft, he was traded for a pair of draft picks to the Panthers where he played parts of three seasons with Florida from 2013 to 2016, which does mean for a part of that time (2014-16) he would have played under current Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant. Pirri put up 38 points in 70 games but was traded to the Anaheim Ducks for a sixth round pick.
He would go on to score five points in nine games with the Ducks before leaving in the offseason to sign a one-year, $1.1-million contract with the New York Rangers. He played 60 games last season for the Rangers, putting up a modest 18 points, though he did win 57.6 percent of his faceoffs. So there’s that.
In Pirri, the Golden Knights gain organizational depth at a position many teams struggle to have depth in. As a career 49.69 Corsi For percentage player he is, if nothing else, not a terrible possession player while his 5-on-5 results are solid enough with a career 51.53 Goals For percentage.
Scouting reports agree that Pirri is a streaky scorer with a good feel for the offensive side of the game. While he isn't what one might call a liability defensively, the 6-foot center lacks a bit of size and strength which limits him against larger players.
It is unknown where he will start the season, be it Vegas or Chicago. The likeliest scenario has him in Chicago, but a lot of it has to do with the apparent uncertain health of Vadim Shipachyov.
[Editor’s Note: This article has been edited to reflect the release of the terms of the contract.]