Last year Artemi Panarin exploded onto the scene in the NHL, scoring 30 goals and 77 points in 80 games, winning the Calder trophy along the way. With that performance, he achieved all his entry-level bonuses (explained here, using Mitch Marner as an example), meaning the Blackhawks carried a cap penalty over this season. As Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune points out, the “Breadman” is close to achieving those bonuses once again.
Panarin will easily secure all of his Schedule A bonuses, and is well positioned to activate his Schedule B bonus as well, worth $1.725MM if he should finish in the top-10 in scoring. With 72 points, Panarin sits tied for tenth in the league with Evgeni Malkin and three games left to play. With games against the Colorado Avalanche, Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings left, the sophomore could easily jump a few spots into the top and cause Chicago to suffer another $2MM+ penalty next season.
- Steven Stamkos won’t play again tonight, in what is the definition of a must-win for Tampa Bay. A regulation loss for the Lightning at the hands of the Bruins, combined with a Maple Leafs win would clinch a playoff position for both Toronto and Boston, and leave only Ottawa as an outside target for Tampa Bay. It’s looking more and more like the captain won’t return this season in time to help his club get back into the playoffs.
- The Dallas Stars have brought Justin Dowling back up, after just a night in the AHL. The move must have been just a paper transaction, as the Texas Stars didn’t play last night. They’ll take on the Bakersfield Condors tomorrow night, likely without Dowling in the lineup.
- The Hershey Bears have released Kristofers Bindulis from his amateur tryout, without the NCAA forward actually playing a game for the team. Bindulis was signed to a contract by the Washington Capitals earlier this spring, but will now head to the World Championships for Latvia before starting the first year of his ELC next year.
- The Bears have also signed Beck Malenstyn to an ATO for the remainder of the year. Selected in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, Malenstyn had been playing for the Calgary Hitmen this season. Having just turned 19, he’ll likely head back to the OHL next season and try again to earn an entry-level deal.