Fans weren’t the only ones upset by the Chicago Blackhawks trading winger Artemi Panarin to the Columbus Blue Jackets in June. Panarin’s linemates Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane voiced their displeasure on the move Friday during the opening day of its 10th annual convention at the downtown Hilton in Chicago.
‘‘I’d be lying to you if I was sitting up here saying I wasn’t disappointed when it first went down, no doubt about it,’’ Kane said via Chicago Sun Times. ‘‘Artemi’s a great kid, someone I got along with really well off the ice and had that chemistry with on the ice. It was just fun to play with him every night. I’ll miss him, for sure.’’
Anisimov didn’t like seeing his linemate and countrymen sent to his former team in Columbus.
‘‘I was shocked, actually,’’ Anisimov said. ‘‘It’s hard to see my close friend going to my old team. But on the ice, when we play each other, I’m going to try to hit him and do whatever it takes to win the game.’’
It’s no surprise the duo were upset by the trade as they had the most productive seasons of their careers with Panarin. Anisimov scored 42 points in 2015-16 before tying a career high in goals (22) and a career high in points (44) this past season. Kane won the Hart Trophy and scoring title in 2015-16 then recorded 89 points in his final season with Panarin.
Anisimov and Kane could stay on the Hawks’ second line together with reacquired winger Patrick Sharp or Ryan Hartman filling in at left wing, or Nick Schmaltz could man the No. 2 center role and bump Anisimov to the third line. Coach Joel Quenneville is already gleefully mulling over his various options.
“Every day you write down different combinations. You look at probability, the likelihood of who will be compatible with who,” Quenneville said during the convention via CSN Chicago. “So I think it will be fun trying to go through that process, not just on paper, but when you get them together and out there playing. We certainly have a lot of options up front.”