It sounds like we're going to get Dick Panik 2: Electric Boogaloo. The Blackhawks expect forward Richard Panik to re-sign with the team this offseason, reports The Athletic's Scott Powers. Panik is a restricted free agent this summer, but GM Stan Bowman indicated that his situation won't be nearly as complicated as some others.
"We’ve had discussions, and I don’t think the contract is going to be a challenge," Bowman on Sunday. "I think we’re going to get that worked out. I think he’s going to be a part of it. We’re looking for him to take that next step in his career."
Panik, 25, appeared in 30 games with the Blackhawks during the 2015-16 season after being acquired from Toronto in exchange for Jeremy Morin. He recorded six goals and two assists, as well as solid possession numbers. The forward also bounced all over the lineup in an Andrew Shaw-like manner, even playing minutes next to Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa at times. That versatility is a big part of what makes Panik so useful.
Don't expect Panik to get a big contract, however. The forward isn't a big scorer and coming off a one-year, $975,000 contract, he presumably won't see too much of a raise going into next season. That'll still make him a nice, cheap piece for Chicago as it fills out a top-heavy roster.