COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s been a very productive season for Blackhawks rookie Artemi Panarin. It’s about to be a very profitable one, too.
Panarin, who recorded three points in the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets, will earn $2.575 million in performance bonuses this season. Part of Panarin’s productive first included his 30th goal of the season. He’s the first Blackhawks rookie to hit that number since Eric Daze did it in the 1995-96 season.
The 24-year-old has been on a hot streak lately, recording five goals and eight assists in his last four-plus games (including the first period of Saturday’s contest). Panarin had already earned $850,000 in Schedule A bonuses; to collect another $1.725 million, Panarin had to finish as a top-10 forward in one of the following: goals, assists, points or points per game. His performance on Saturday ensures he’ll do that.
Yes, that means the Blackhawks will be in salary-cap hell again next season.
According to generalfanager.com Panarin’s bonuses, as well as Michal Rozsival’s — $100,000 for 50 games played — means the Blackhawks will have $2.9 million in bonuses counting against next season’s cap. So the team that has had to say goodbye to many players over the years due to salary-cap constraints will probably be doing it again this offseason.
Coach Joel Quenneville said a few days ago that there was “no chance” he would sit Panarin if the Russian was close to achieving his bonuses.
“My perspective is, I like when players are successful and they meet their goals. We’ll do everything we can to help them be the best they can. That’s our motivation here. The other stuff sorts itself out,” Quenneville said Saturday morning. “It doesn’t help us, but at the same time, we don’t mind having to deal with those type of issues.”