By: Gabriela Morales
Chicago Blackhawks left winger Artemi Panarin has signed a two year extension contract worth over 12 million dollars with the Hawks on Dec. 28, 2016.
Chicago Blackhawks’ general manager Stan Bowen spoke up after signing Panarin to another two years. “He’s a huge part of our team, so to know that he is going to be here two more seasons is a big relief,” he said. “He’s been, since he’s stepped onto the scene here, a top-10 scorer in the league. That’s really hard to do,” Bowen said.
The 25 year old Russian native has been a part of the National Hockey League, NHL, for almost two years after coming from the KHL in Russia. Those two years, Panarin has only played for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Panarin and the Blackhawks came out of this deal pleased as both he and the Hawks were not ready to go their separate ways.
Panarin has said multiple times that he wants to keep playing with the Blackhawks because of his friendship, on and off the ice, with fellow teammates and linesmen Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov. Panarin was willing to accept the Blackhawks’ offer that was below his expectations.
Panarin spoke with reporters immediately after signing his contract. He spoke about how he felt with his deal.
“Chicago gave me a chance to play at the very high level I like,” he said. “ I like everything about the team and the environment here. You can’t earn all the money in the world.”
Panarin has played in 47 games this season with 17 goals and 26 assists, making him one of the Hawks’ top three forwards.