Blackhawks sign Richard Panik to 2-year, $5.6 million extension

Panik gets a raise to $2.8 million per year.

The Chicago Blackhawks and forward Richard Panik have agreed to a two-year contract extension worth $2.8 million per season, the team announced Thursday. The winger was set to become a restricted free agent July 1.

The Hawks now have roughly $68 million tied up between their top 11 contracts and a cap overage, notes The Athletic’s Scott Powers.

Panik, 26, is being rewarded after a career season with Chicago. The winger reportedly left money on the table in order to take a slightly smaller deal to stay with the Blackhawks. They’re a good fit, and at $2.8 million, he’s still getting a substantial raise from his $875,000 salary from 2016-17.

The 6-foot-1, 208 pounder posted career highs in goals (22), assists (22) and points (44). The left-handed shooter played on the Hawks’ top line with center Jonathan Toews for the majority of the season. He also logged minutes on the third line.

“Richard made tremendous strides this past year and we were pleased with the consistency he showed throughout the season,” Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “We are looking forward to having him in Chicago for the next two seasons.”

The Hawks acquired Panik from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jeremy Morin during the 2015-16 season.