The Blackhawks brought back Richard Panik by reaching a 2 year extension with the 26 year-old forward. Panik played in all 82 games of the 2016-17 season. He spent most of his season as the right wing on the Blackhawks’ top line alongside Jonathan Toews and either Ryan Hartman or Marian Hossa.
Panik is coming off of the best season of his career. He notched a career high 44 points while tallying a career high 22 goals. Panik was set to become a restricted free agent this offseason, but the Blackhawks obviously were unwilling for him to play elsewhere next season. Because of his new contract, Panik is much less likely to be in play for the Vegas Golden Knights once the expansion draft rolls around.
Panik’s 2 year contract gives him an average of $2.8 million per year. The Blackhawks found a diamond in the rough two years ago when they traded for Richard Panik, and they have decided that he will remain with the team as a top winger moving forward.