Mar 1, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Artem Anisimov (42) takes the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Is Artem Anisimov A Long-Term Second-Line Center?
Best Case Scenario: Yes. Patrick Kane finally can establish some consistency.
The Blackhawks are certainly banking on Anisimov, after signing the pending UFA to a five-year contract after acquiring his rights in the Saad trade. On paper, Anisimov certainly looks like he has what it takes to center the Blackhawks’ most dangerous player. If Kane, Anisimov and a to-be-determined winger find their groove early in the season, the Blackhawks’ offense will again be dominant, and Kane could have a record-breaking year ahead (not to mention his linemates, too).
Worst Case Scenario: No. The mill at second-line pivot continues to turn.
Anisimov has high expectations in the Windy City, and though it seems far-fetched, there is still a chance that he goes the way of Dave Bolland and Michal Handzus, simply hampering the still-untapped potential that is in No. 88. If the Anisimov experiment fails for the Blackhawks, they are left with a problem, and a salary-cap-choking one, at that.
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