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Chicago Blackhawks: Panarin To Play In Preseason Finale

By Sean Fitzgerald

The Chicago Blackhawks have been busy making headlines the last few days. Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville shook up the roster with their latest round of roster cuts Friday. Bowman and Blackhawks coaching staff sent Marko Dano to the Rockford IceHogs and waived Bryan Bickell, who has since cleared and will apparently stick with the Blackhawks.

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Most people speculated that Dano was sent down to Rockford for two reasons: 1) Dano still has one of the few two-way contracts on the Blackhawks and 2) the Blackhawks are handling Dano like Teuvo Teravainen. Dano was supposed to be one of the new faces to help replace some of the losses the Blackhawks suffered during the offseason, but his time will have to wait, at least a little bit.

Another player that is supposed to help refuel the Blackhawks after their latest salary-cap purge was Artemi Panarin. Panarin came to the Blackhawks with a lot of hype attached to his name. Panarin was known in the KHL as the “Russian Patrick Kane” because of his playmaking ability. The Blackhawks faithful got a glimpse of Panarin’s playmaking ability at the Notre Dame portion of the preseason. Since then, however, Panarin has not appeared in a preseason game.

Panarin did finally return to the ice for the Blackhawks earlier this week.

It has been announced today that Panarin will appear in his first and only preseason game, tonight against the Dallas Stars. It also appears that, despite not playing in a preseason game before tonight, Panarin will make the Blackhawks opening night roster. Despite Panarin not playing much, Kane has faith in his Russian counterpart’s skill level.

The Blackhawks appear to have a ton of faith in Panarin. He is going to get looks on the second line with Artem Anisimov and Kane. Now before we get overly excited about his line positioning, remember Quenneville likes to change up his lines. At the Blackhawks Convention, Bowman preached to the fans that there will be an adjustment period for Panarin. If Panarin can adjust to the North American style of play, that second line could be a very dangerous line for the Blackhawks.

Panarin will do his adjusting in the NHL and not the AHL, largely because of a clause in his contract. If Panarin did not make the Blackhawks out of camp, he could return to the KHL immediately because an opt-out clause in his NHL contract

Next: Blackhawks' Teravainen Is The Real Deal

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