One Chicago Blackhawks forward has a more secure future after he and the team agreed to a new contract Thursday
The Chicago Blackhawks have re-signed Richard Panik for two years. The annual value is close to $2.8 million dollars per year. Panik was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jeremy Morin in 2016.
The acquisition of Panik has been a huge get for the Blackhawks. When the general manager Stan Bowman traded for Panik, he was languishing away in the AHL. He has gotten better every season with the Blackhawks. He had six goals and two assists in 30 games during the 2015-16 season. In that year’s playoffs, he had three assists in six games.
This past season was the best season of his NHL career, as he has 22 goals and 22 assists for 44 points. He primarily played on the right wing with Jonathan Toews at center. In this year’s playoffs, Panik was invisible much like the rest of the Blackhawks. He had one point in four games played.
While the Blackhawks needed to re-sign Panik in order to keep him around, the reaction on his signing is mixed.
Reactions: Mixed reviews
I tend to agree with Jay Zawaski on this one. If they wanted to bring Panik back, it should have been at a lower cost. I also am a little scared by the fact that he has only scored 20 goals in a season once.
He also plays a physical game. Does it catch up to him in the next two years? Does he have a huge drop-off? Is Bowman once again paying a guy to handsomely after a career year? The numbers do not bear out longer-term success in the NHL. It could be the right fit at the right time, or it could be one good year. I hope I am wrong on this one.
The Blackhawks now need to once again purge some players from their roster to find a way under the cap.
Cap Friendly followed up that Tweet with more alarming news about the Blackhawks’ salary cap situation.
Bowman has once again put the Blackhawks over the cap before the season has even started. The team’s highest-paid players and biggest cap hits all have no movement clauses. Niklas Hjalmarsson is the only skater with a modified no trade clause. With the holes on defense are you willing to move Hammer?