The Chicago Blackhawks and Artemi Panarin’s agent Tom Lynn have been in discussions regarding a contract extension, reports the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc. The 24 year old left winger is entering the second and final year of his entry-level contract signed last offseason with an AAV of $3.5MM including bonuses (which he hit last season).
Panarin is coming off a very strong rookie campaign, posting 30 goals and 47 assists in 80 games, ranking him second on the team in scoring behind Hart Trophy (league MVP) winner Patrick Kane. He also finished tied for ninth overall in league-wide scoring which helped earn him the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.
Speaking through an interpreter, Panarin commented on talks and the thought of staying with Chicago long-term:
“I came to play on the NHL level not because of money and contracts,” Panarin said via an interpreter. “My agent will deal with the rest. As of right now, I like everything and … I’m very content.”
Scott Powers of The Athletic reports that Panarin is seeking a 6-7 year contract with a cap hit between $6MM – $7MM. Last week, our Glen Miller took a look at what the market might be, offering up Filip Forsberg and Vladimir Tarasenko as potential comparable players depending on how Panarin’s sophomore season goes.
Chicago GM Stan Bowman will have to get creative with his roster to find a way to fit Panarin in on an extension. The team currently has 11 players signed for 2017-18 with a cap hit just shy of $58MM according to Cap Friendly. While the salary cap for next season won’t be set until June, based on recent years the increase won’t be that dramatic which means they will likely have to move someone out to make the money work.