Monday: The Capitals have officially announced a four-year, $11MM contract with Panik, a deal that pays the two-way winger a $2.75MM AAV.
Sunday: The Washington Capitals were able to shed some salary recently by flipping restricted free agent Andre Burakovsky and his expensive qualifying offer to the Colorado Avalanche, and now they’re set to replace him with a more experienced winger. According to Bob McKenzie of TSN Richard Panik is expected to sign a four-year contract with the Capitals tomorrow. The deal could carry an average annual value “somewhere north of $2.5MM” tweets McKenzie.
Panik, 28, recorded 33 points in 75 games with the Arizona Coyotes last season and has now gone three years in a row with at least that many. That kind of production is exactly what the Capitals are looking for out of their bottom-six, especially after likely losing Brett Connolly to free agency as well. There’s actually a chance that the veteran forward could become even more than that playing in Washington, as Panik has been known to fit in well beside top players in a support role. The Capitals already have their superstars up front but needed a little more punch on the right side.
The question will be how this affects the rest of the summer for Washington, who may have a little flexibility right now but need to pay Jakub Vrana, Chandler Stephenson and Christian Djoos at some point. They also have to think about the future with Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby set to become free agents in a year’s time. While Panik is likely a bargain at $2.5MM, the four-year term could present some risk to a team that is always near the cap if he somehow fails to produce in Washington.