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Artemi Panarin officially earns max bonuses, costing Blackhawks millions in cap space

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Panarin maxed out his performance bonuses for the second straight year.

Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks are going to have a big salary cap overage on the books for next season after Artemi Panarin officially maxed out his bonuses with the conclusion of the regular season Sunday. The winger will receive $2.575 million in bonuses from the Blackhawks in addition to his $925,000 base salary.

Panarin finished tied for 10th among NHL forwards with 74 points this season to earn his Schedule B bonus worth $1.725 million. That one went down to the wire as he scored a late goal against the Kings in the Blackhawks’ season finale that ultimately proved to put him over the top.

Connor McDavid earns the Art Ross Trophy by finishing with a league-leading 100 points. Patrick Kane led the Blackhawks with 89 points, which tied him for second in the NHL with Sidney Crosby.

NHL forward scoring leaders

Place Player Team Points
Place Player Team Points
1 Connor McDavid Oilers 100
T2 Sidney Crosby Penguins 89
T2 Patrick Kane Blackhawks 89
4 Nicklas Backstrom Capitals 86
T5 Nikita Kucherov Lightning 85
T5 Brad Marchand Bruins 85
7 Mark Scheifele Jets 82
T8 Vladimir Tarasenko Blues 75
T8 Leon Draisaitl Oilers 75
T10 Artemi Panarin Blackhawks 74
T10 Blake Wheeler Jets 74

If Panarin doesn’t get that goal against Los Angeles, he finishes with 73 points, which would’ve put him tied for 11th behind Vladimir Tarasenko and Blake Wheeler. So in a sense, that meaningless goal Panarin scored against the Kings on Saturday cost the Blackhawks almost $2 million in salary cap space.

That’s the unfortunate way of looking at it, but Panarin was still an incredible bargain for the Blackhawks over the past two seasons. Maybe the team should’ve tried harder to limit his production down the stretch in order to keep him out of the top 10, but I’m not sure that would’ve been the right way to treat a star player on the eve of a playoff run.

In addition to his $1.725 million Schedule B bonus, Panarin also made the maximum of $850,000 in Schedule A bonuses. He received $212,500 each for 20 goals, 35 assists, 60 points, and finishing top six among Chicago forwards in time on ice.

Given that the Blackhawks only have roughly $10,000 in cap space for the end of the season, per Cap Friendly, almost the entirety of Panarin’s bonus will become a cap overage. Combined with bonuses for Brian Campbell, Gustav Forsling, and Michal Kempny, the Blackhawks are likely looking an overage totaling more than $3.5 million for next season. Combined with Panarin’s big raise, GM Stan Bowman has his work cut out yet again.