7. Artemi Panarin (2017)
Trading away Artemi Panarin was like trading away Kane after his second season. Panarin probably would be too expensive for the Blackhawks right now, but they could have gotten a lot for him.
Bowman made this trade for “salary cap reasons.” This trade was made to add a two-way forward back to the roster in Saad.
So, Bowman trades away Panarin, who is worth $6,000,000 AAV at the time, for Saad who is worth the same amount? If you look at Panarin, he has scored 145 goals and has 253 assists for 398 points in just 379 games. Panarin will hit 1,000 career points at some point.
Mini-Kane might have taken a hometown discount to stay in Chicago. They could have even moved some pieces around to keep him for $6,000,000 AAV for longer. The Blackhawks re-signed Panarin for a two-year deal and then traded him six months later.
There are a lot of players taking up salary room for the Blackhawks that don’t need to be there. Panarin is a little pricy now though. He is getting paid $11,642,857 AAV until 2026-27. That’s a bit much, but so far, he’s worth every penny in New York.
The Blackhawks could have fit him in for around $9,000,000 AAV if they would have made better money decisions. Bowman needs an accountant or something because he lets talent slip for “salary cap reasons.”
It still makes no sense to this day. The Coyotes would end up with that draft pick. So, the Blackhawks missed out. I like Saad but Panarin is so much better. It’s not even close.
Was It Worth It?
Kinda. It was by far Bowman’s worst trade, but, I’ll give him some credit. Not many teams could afford to pay Panarin. When the Blackhawks have two players making $10,500,000 AAV, they’re not paying another player eight-figures.
I wonder if things could have been different though. Maybe Kane could have gotten Panarin to re-sign cheaper.