Artemi Panarin Re-Signs with Chicago Blackhawks

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CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 27: Chicago Blackhawks Left Wing Artemi Panarin (72) battles with Winnipeg Jets Right Wing Joel Armia (40) to handle a loose puck during the third period of a game between the Winnipeg Jets and the Chicago Blackhawks on December 27, 2016, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

On Wednesday, the Chicago Blackhawks locked down one of their biggest offensive weapons.  The team announced that they had signed star winger Artemi Panarin to a two-year contract extension worth $12 million and with an average annual value of $6 million.  The deal is considered to be a bridge deal for the 25-year-old, whom originally asked for a six-seven-year contract.

Artemi Panarin Re-Signs with Chicago Blackhawks

With the Blackhawks current salary cap issues, two years was the best deal they can offer, and it allows for Panarin to continue proving himself.  “Two years gives you two years for the cap to go up, the Canadian dollar to recover, oil prices to recover, others guys to falter, be made,” Panarin’s agent Tom Lynn said in an interview with Payday. “A lot can happens in two years. Take it one step at a time.”

“We had no set formula,” Lynn said. “I just wanted to make sure Artemi’s interests were protected. They just couldn’t do it in a long-term deal. They don’t have the money, A. And B, you can’t give a no-trade clause until a guy’s unrestricted.”

Panarin is currently in his sophomore season with the Chicago Blackhawks.  In 2014, the forward was imported from the KHL and as ever since been a star.  Last season, he scored 30 goals and 47 assists for a total of 77 points in 80 games played and won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the National Hockey League’s most outstanding rookie.  In 37 games this season, he has scored 15 goals and 22 assists.

“In the end, this was the key that unlocked the door, to do a two-year deal and to get to a $6 million threshold,” Lynn added via the Chicago Tribune. “It was enough for Artemi to take a haircut and stay and enough for the Blackhawks to keep doing what they’re doing.”

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