The Chicago Blackhawks and star forward Artemi Panarin have agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension worth $6 million per year, according to multiple reports. The first year will have a $4.2 million signing bonus and the second year it will drop to $2 million.
Scott Powers of The Athletic first reported the news. The Hawks are expected to make the announcement official Thursday morning, according to Powers.
The contract will have major ramifications for the team going forward, but as SCH editor Satchel Price wrote recently, it’s something the Blackhawks needed to do. The winger is simply too good.
Now the Blackhawks are in salary cap trouble for next season, which means more moves will on the way to keep the team compliant with league rules.
Panarin, 25, won the 2015 Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. Panarin led all rookies in scoring with 77 points, goals (30) and assists (47) in 80 games. He tied four players with eight power-play goals. He has 45 goals and 114 points in 117 career NHL games.
Panarin’s salary cap hit was $812,500 each of the past two seasons as part of the entry-level contract he signed in April 2015. He earned an additional $2.575 million in Schedule A and B performance bonuses last season, both of which he’s on track to hit again this season.