While the club did not reveal any of the financial details regarding the new contract, we reported on Wednesday that several hockey insiders, including Bob McKenzie, Elliotte Friedman, and Scott Powers, have all pegged the value at $6MM per season with a little more than half coming in the form of signing bonuses.
The 25-year-old Panarin is in his second season with the Blackhawks after playing the previous seven seasons in the KHL. He scored 77 points in 80 games as a rookie playing alongside Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, winning the Calder Trophy. Panarin and Kane showed especially strong chemistry, as Kane hit a career-high 110 points last season.
Panarin is the Blackhawks leading scorer so far this season, with 37 points in 37 games. That’s good for fifth in the NHL, behind only Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Vladimir Tarasenko.
Panarin is the final season of his two-year entry-level contract, which carries a cap hit of just $925K. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, he has over $2.5MM of potential bonuses. He’s currently on pace to max out those bonuses for the second straight year. That represented a major part of Chicago’s cap overage of more than $3MM this season. Panarin is one of six players on the Blackhawks who have performance bonuses in their contract, adding up to a possible total of over $4.4MM which could be added to their cap. They currently have just over $427K in cap space.
With Panarin’s extension signed, GM Stan Bowman will once again have to get creative this summer to keep the band together in Chicago.