Richard Panik agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Blackhawks, which will have a $2.8 million cap hit, according to Pierre LeBrun. Panik is 26 years old, and is coming off a career-best season where he had 22 goals, 22 assists and 44 points in 82 games. Blackhawks originally acquired Panik from the Maple Leafs for Jeremy Morin during the 2015 season. Panik signed a one-year, $875,000 deal with the Blackhawks prior to the 2016-17 season.
“Richard made tremendous strides this past year and we were pleased with the consistency he showed throughout the season,” Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “We are looking forward to having him in Chicago for the next two seasons.”
On a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Richard Panik said “I was waiting for the first offer to come in, and the first offer they gave me was surprising. There wasn’t much thinking about if I don’t want to sign or I will sign. I was really happy to get the first offer, like the real good one.”
Richard Panik was hopeful the Blackhawks would protect him in the draft. “There’s a chance, but hopefully Chicago will protect me,” Panik said. “We had a discussion. My main area is I wanted to stay in Chicago. Hopefully the will protect me.”