After yesterday’s trade that sent Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen to the Carolina Hurricanes for a couple of draft picks, more in the media are reporting how the move was made to secure restricted free agent Andrew Shaw. But it also appears to be a move made to keep another important winger in the fold.
CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers reports that not only are the Blackhawks keen on getting a deal done with Shaw by the end of the NHL Draft, but they are also looking ahead at re-signing Artemi Panarin once they can begin in July (per CBA rules). Chicago Tribune writer Chris Hine also tweeted that Shaw’s agent will meet with the Blackhawks at the draft to nail down a contract.
The interesting point in all of this is that while Panarin had an unbelievable season, general manager Stan Bowman is still moving with caution. Bowman had a tough year with trades as moves for Trevor Daley, and Andrew Ladd didn’t pan out the way he anticipated. Ladd, while effective, didn’t bring the goal scoring or production Bowman hoped for when he traded for the winger in February. Daley never meshed with the Blackhawks after a trade that surrendered fan favorite Patrick Sharp and top prospect Stephen Johns. Sharp helped the Stars to a Central Division title while Johns became a contributor near the end of the season and into the playoffs. Daley was dumped to the Penguins for veteran Rob Scuderi in a move widely seen as a way to move salary and give Daley the opportunity to play somewhere else. It worked for Daley–he played a major role in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup run before succumbing to an ankle injury in the Eastern Conference Final. Scuderi, meanwhile, was flipped for Christian Ehrhoff, who rarely played in Chicago.
Bickell’s albatross of a contract will also remain a cautionary tale for anything Bowman chooses to do in the future. Bickell cashed in on his unbelievable performance in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. At the time, Bickell was rumored to get anywhere from $5MM-$6MM on the open market. The deal sealed by Bowman at the time was seen as a tremendous discount.
Regardless, most pundits will give Bowman the benefit of the doubt when it comes to offering Shaw a new contract because the organization has won 3 Stanley Cups under his watch. The Shaw move is seen as a way to acknowledge the wishes of head coach Joel Quenneville who called Shaw “irreplaceable” back in April. Whether Shaw is as irreplaceable as Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane remains to be seen, but Shaw’s presence has been noted during Chicago’s run of success.
Panarin, on the other hand, put up dizzying numbers in his first NHL season. Once negotiations can begin in July, it will be another test on Bowman’s part in giving him a contract he deserves, but keeping the contract reasonable. Rookies scoring 30 goals in a season doesn’t happen often and the Hawks know that. Bowman will show prudence, but few will question him if it’s Panarin, and not Shaw, who benefits more from the departure of Bickell and Teravainen.