The Blackhawks announced Sunday that they have acquired forward Richard Panik from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Jeremy Morin.
It's the second time Morin has been traded out of Chicago after being shipped to the Columbus Blue Jackets in December of 2014. The 24-year-old forward, who struggled to find his way back on the NHL roster, registered nine goals and 13 assists in 28 games with the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs this season.
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"I think it’s comparable for both players: healthy, fresh starts for both guys, proven guys who have had an opportunity in the NHL at some point in their careers," coach Joel Quenneville said following a 3-0 win over the Senators on Sunday. "I’m sure they’ll get looks. I wish him well. Certainly he had depth for us coming back again. Didn’t get a sniff this year but we’ll see what happens in Toronto for him."
Panik, 24, has nine goals and 16 assists in 33 games with the AHL's Toronto Marlies this season, and has compiled 39 points (19 goals and 20 assists) in 151 career regular-season games with the Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning, who drafted him in the second round (52nd overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft. He also appeared in two postseason contents in 2014 with the Lightning.
And Quenneville indicated he'll get an opportunity — on left wing — to play on the NHL roster right away.
"When the logistics get sorted out, he'll be up here," Quenneville said of Panik. "... I think he was one of the guys with the triplet line. Got off to a decent start then all of a sudden he wasn’t quite as regular and ended up down in the minors. But we see guys in the league who lose that opportunity, some guys, a new destination, a new opportunity, new linemates, new team can rejuvenate some guys.
"The thing is, the opportunity, you have to take advantage of it, and he’ll certainly be given the opportunity."
Panik carries a cap hit of $975,000 and is a restricted free agent at the end of the year.