The Bread Man isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
The Athletic Chicago’s Scott Powers is reporting that the Chicago Blackhawks and Artemi Panarin have agreed to a contract extension.
Panarin is in his second season with the Blackhawks, putting together an impressive campaign in 2015-16. He finished ninth in points last season which was good enough to win him the Calder Trophy.
He’s continued his hot play in 2016-17, currently sitting at fifth in the NHL in points. The extension hasn’t officially been announced but is expected to be on Thursday morning.
Here’s what Powers wrote:
Re-signing Panarin has been a priority for Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman. The Blackhawks had to trade away some of their best young talent, including Brandon Saad, Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw, in recent years due to salary-cap constraints. Bowman made sure Panarin wasn’t the next in line.
“We’ve done it where we’ve signed guys in advance, during a season or the end of a season,” Bowman said in July. “We want to bring him back and keep him in Chicago. He had a great season [in 2015-16]. Love what he brings to the table. That’ll play itself out as we go along here.”
The Blackhawks currently sit first in the NHL’s Central Division with 49 points, just a point ahead of the Minnesota Wild as we get ready for 2017.