Forward Brendan Perlini’s time with the Blackhawks could soon be coming to an end.
After practice Friday, Perlini confirmed TSN’s report that he had requested a trade from the Hawks.
“Yeah, we’ve been exploring options,” said Perlini, who signed a one-year extension worth $847,124 with the Hawks in September. “I think a lot of that stuff is between myself and the team, myself and the agents. I let them handle it. I just continue to play.”
Perlini’s frustration with the Hawks stems from his lack of playing time this season. He’s been a healthy scratch for seven of eight games.
“Obviously I haven’t gotten in many games this year and stuff. That’s something for me, I feel like I got to play,” Perlini said. “That’s why I play the game, that’s to play hockey, not miss games and stuff. It’s tough.
“At the same time, I’ve been working hard, trying to do everything possible to try to get in the lineup and play, keep developing and stuff.”
Center Jonathan Toews said he’s tried to help keep Perlini’s spirits high despite his frustrating situation. But he knows there’s only so much he can do.
“I’m sure everybody knows the ... level of ability he has and how hard it is to sit around and watch when you feel like you can be doing way more,” Toews said. “And he definitely feels under appreciated. So sometimes you try and say little things but it only goes so far. Obviously he wants to play.”
The Hawks acquired Perlini and center Dylan Strome from the Coyotes for center Nick Schmaltz last November. Strome, who was a scoring machine in the Ontario Hockey League with right wing Alex DeBrincat on his line, has received ample opportunities with the Hawks, cementing himself as a member of the top two lines
Meanwhile, Perlini has not.
After the trade, Perlini averaged nearly three minutes less with the Hawks. In 46 games, he posted 12 goals and three assists.
And things haven’t gotten better for Perlini this season as he’s repeatedly been the odd man out of coach Jeremy Colliton’s lineup.
“You want to play,” Perlini said. “Wherever that may be, it doesn’t matter too much to me. As long as you play and get the opportunity, that’s all you can ask for as a player.”
But until that opportunity comes, Perlini will play good soldier for the Hawks as he doesn’t want to be a distraction to his teammates.
“Like I said, I’m here right now and trying to create opportunities here in Chicago to play and work my hardest whether it’s in practice or games,” Perlini said.