After bursting onto the NHL scene last season, Artemi Panarin faces a critical 2016-17 campaign, which will mark the second and final year of his two-year, entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.
As per General Fanager, the 24-year-old forward will make $925,000 in NHL salary this upcoming season, with the potential for $2.575 million once again in bonuses. For now, the Blackhawks are getting a very good deal.
Panarin finished second in Chicago last season with 77 points in 80 games played, spending time on a line with the skilled Patrick Kane.
He also scored 30 goals. Not bad for his first year in the league. He earned rookie-of-the-year honors when it was over.
But another productive season in the final year of his contract would mean a significant raise for Panarin, who will be a pending restricted free agent.
According to a report from the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, the Blackhawks and Panarin’s agent Tom Lynn are in talks about a possible contract extension.
“I came to play on the NHL level not because of money and contracts,” said Panarin through an interpreter, according to the Chicago Tribune. “My agent will deal with the rest.
“As of right now, I like everything and … I’m very content.”
The task for general manager Stan Bowman — and this is nothing new in Chicago — will be getting a deal done that works for the Blackhawks’ salary cap situation.
As per General Fanager, the team has 11 players on its NHL roster under contract for the 2017-18 season, with almost $58 million already committed to those players.
One NHL executive said Monday he was skeptical whether Panarin would be with the Blackhawks next season due to their salary-cap constraints, especially if he didn’t re-sign early and continued to put up big numbers. The Blackhawks already have $46,596,795 committed to eight players (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook, Corey Crawford, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Marcus Kruger) for the 2017-2018 season.