Artemi Panarin

Artemi Panarin has a message for former teammate Patrick Kane: 'I am coming for you!'

panarin_.jpg
USA TODAY

Artemi Panarin has a message for former teammate Patrick Kane: 'I am coming for you!'

Artemi Panarin has a message for former teammate Patrick Kane:

“I am coming for you!”

The free agent left winger has been mixing some boxing in with the rest of his usual offseason workouts. On Wednesday, Panarin posted a video on his Instagram where he can be seen training with @anarmadboxing and he certainly seems to be taking his training seriously.

In the comments section on the post, fans pondered if Panarin would be seriously considering a return to the Blackhawks. You can see different fan bases making their case for the 27-year old winger in the comments, with Blue Jackets, Blackhawks and Canucks faithful being the most vocal.

Panarin will be a great addition wherever he chooses to go this offseason. Should he be matched up against Patrick Kane at some point next season, Kaner best think twice about scrapping with Panarin!

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

Patrick Kane on Artemi Panarin's gift and possibility of reuniting with Blackhawks

Patrick Kane on Artemi Panarin's gift and possibility of reuniting with Blackhawks

Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin had one of the best on-ice chemistry you'll ever see between two hockey players with completely different backgrounds. They were a two-man show for the Blackhawks from 2015-17.

In each of those seasons, Panarin's cap hit was $812,500. But over the course of those two years, he racked up $5.375 million in performance bonuses. A big reason why he was able to unlock them was because he played on a line with Kane, who won the Art Ross and Hart Trophy in 2016 with 106 points.

When the Blackhawks were in Columbus on Oct. 20 this season, Panarin sent Kane a text to meet up the night before. Kane thought nothing of it, thinking it was going to be a nice time to reconnect. Until Panarin pulled out an expensive watch as a thank you to Kane for helping him hit those bonuses.

"It was a pretty special move by someone to do that," said Kane, who originally told ESPN's Emily Kaplan of the exchange for an upcoming feature. "Throughout the season you always joke around like, 'Oh, you hit some bonuses, what are you are going to give me?' Stuff like that. But you never really expect something like that to come of it. When I met up with him earlier this year I thought we were just meeting up to catch up. Didn't really know that was coming. It definitely took me back for sure."

With Panarin back in Chicago for the second and final meeting between the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets, early homecoming thoughts will certainly be in the air. At least for one night. 

There are nine days left until the trade deadline, and Panarin has made it clear he wants to test the open market on July 1. And that's 100 percent his right. Many would do the same thing. Whether or not he gets moved before Feb. 25 remains to be seen, but fans in Chicago can't help but think of the possibility of a potential Panarin return this summer with the Blackhawks expected to have lots of cap space.

Of course, Kane would love that too, but it's ultimately Panarin's decision and whether the team can financially make it work. Plus, the Blackhawks are in the middle of a playoff race, so it's not at the forefront of his mind right now.

"I don't know, we'll see what the situation comes to," Kane said about the possibility of playing with Panarin again. "Obviously we have a lot of season left here. I don't think you really find yourself thinking about it too much. Would it be great to play with him again? Yeah, obviously. But there's a lot for that to happen, whether he stays in Columbus, goes to free agency, goes to another team. It's his decision. [We'll] see what happens after the season."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

Four takeaways: 'Vintage' Corey Crawford steals two points for Blackhawks

crawford-1020.jpg
AP

Four takeaways: 'Vintage' Corey Crawford steals two points for Blackhawks

COLUMBUS — Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday:

1. Corey Crawford steals the show

The Blackhawks had no business winning this game. They were being outshot 28-15 through two periods, committed four penalties and gave up 18 high-danger chances in the game. 

But Crawford bailed out his team like he often has done in the past, and was zoned in from the moment the puck dropped. He finished with 37 saves on 38 shots for a save percentage of .974, picking up his first win since Dec. 17, 2017.

"Yeah, I felt good," Crawford said. "I think everyone was playing hard, rebounds, taking away sticks. That was a great effort by everyone."

"He was standing on his head for us," Patrick Kane said. "As Q would say, that’s a goalie win for us."

Said coach Joel Quenneville: "That was vintage Crow."

2. Tic-tac-toe leads to go-ahead goal

The Blue Jackets were clearly the better team through two periods. The Blackhawks were fortunate to go into second intermission with the game still tied at 1-1.

The next goal was crucial, and they got it thanks to a Marcus Kruger redirection goal. The next one was the dagger, a beautiful give-and-go play by Brent Seabrook and Kane, who buried home a wide open net to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead with 4:14 left in regulation.

Was Kane expecting Seabrook to pass it back?

"No. Not a chance," Kane said laughing. "That’s his wheelhouse, coming right down there. He scores a lot of goals from that area. Saw it was like a 2-on-2, he was coming late, he jumped in the play on the first goal, did a great job, jumped in the play on that goal. Made a great pass. When I saw it come back, I just tried to stay patient, settle it down and make sure I hit the net, because I knew I had the whole open net."

3. Busy night for PK

The Blackhawks penalty kill was very busy. It was also on it's A-game, partly because their best penalty killer was Crawford.

The Blackhawks spent 6:31 of the first 40 minutes killing penalties, allowing 11 shots total on it. But most importantly, they killed off all four penalties.

"We had some tough clears, but I thought we did some good things," Quenneville said. "We withstood some extended PK zone time there and found a way to keep us in the game. Obviously that next goal was huge and that second period was a big part of them having so much zone time, keeping us in our end. We'll say, hey good job, but Crow was the best penalty killer tonight."

4. Catching up with Kane on Artemi Panarin

Kane and Panarin spent only two seasons together, but they brought Blackhawks fans out of their seats on a nightly basis and it was amazing to watch the instant on-ice chemistry they shared. And most of it was non-verbal, which made it even more impressive. They were always on the same wavelength.

"Sometimes it takes time to build some chemistry but that was one of those things where it was like, I don't want to say instant chemistry, but after one or two preseason games we kind of new that maybe something special was going to happen," Kane told NBC Sports Chicago. "I think he scored in his first game in the NHL, we had a really good game, we had the puck a lot, we sensed that this could be a fun way to play hockey."

Off the ice, Kane said Panarin would use Google translate on his phone to communicate while Kane would try using a Russian accent while saying English words.

The two of them got a chance to hang out for a little bit on Friday and Kane still keeps tabs on his former linemate.

"I always really enjoy watching him," Kane said. "If we have an off night or something, he's a really fun player to watch."