Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Respect For Blackhawks As Panarin Gets Paid

By Randy Holndoner (@bhawkschatter)

Artemi Panarin cashed in for the second year in a row as he finished in the top ten of all forwards in the scoring title, earning him a hefty $1.725 million bonus.

The last goal, in the last game of the season, secured Panarin to receive his bonus which will put the Chicago Blackhawks in yet, another familiar problem with its biggest opponent every year, the salary cap.

But the Blackhawks have to be given credit for letting this happen.  After securing the Western Conference with four games remaining in the regular season, Coach Joel Quenneville began to rest key players, Jonathan Toews, Corey Crawford, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa, and Johnny Oduya.

Knowing Panarin had the opportunity to cash in on this hefty bonus, and knowing that it will cause General Manager Stan Bowman headaches with the salary cap, Panarin played each of those four games and scored three valuable goals.

The Blackhawks could have easily have rested he and Patrick Kane, who both played every one of the 82 games, but they didn't.

Panarin was given a two year extension earlier in the year giving him a healthy raise from his $875,000 salary to a $6 million salary.  The Blackhawks surely would have liked to have given him a long term contract, but with the salary cap issues to struggle with, both sides agreed on the two year extension.

With the trust of Panarin willing to take a two year extension from the Blackhawks, and the trust of the Blackhawks to allow Panarin the chance to earn his bonus, both sides have built a very strong relationship so far to date.

Panarin has to be very pumped to have gotten his bonus, which can only help the Blackhawks as they begin their run for the Stanley Cup.  Not that Panarin wasn't tearing up the league already by scoring seven goals in his last seven games.


Photo provided by NHL.com

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