For the second straight season, Artemi Panarin is producing offensively at a level that has put him among the NHL's best goal-scorers.
And for the second straight season, it may come at a price, something the Blackhawks are certainly willing to pay if it continues to have an impact on winning games.
With a goal in Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins, Panarin has now lit the lamp in four straight, and has accumulated 17 points in his last 17 games, vaulting into the top-10 in scoring with 72 points.
If he remains there at season's end, he will earn a $1.725 million bonus that will count against next year's salary cap.
He can hit it a few different ways as well, including top-10 in points-per-game, goals or assists; top-5 in voting for the Selke Trophy, Rocket Richard Trophy, or Hart Trophy; winning the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP or being voted onto the first or second postseason All-Star teams.
It's something GM Stan Bowman — and Blackhawks fans — has certainly been monitoring over the course of the year. But Panarin? Not so much.
"Actually, I don't think about this at all," Panarin said through an interpreter following Sunday's game. "I'm trying to play my best all the time and until yesterday I didn't know how many points I had. I was arguing a little bit with my grandpa over the phone and he started talking about points again. I don't think about that, so I'm not going to call him today."
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In his rookie year, Panarin ranked tied for ninth in the league with 77 points, which helped him trigger those bonuses and capture the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.
While he's been through this before, it doesn't exactly make it any easier to deal with.
"Last season I didn’t really have a standard, I didn’t have a goal to reach," Panarin said. "So it was a little bit easier. This season I already know how many points I can get, so it’s a little bit harder to not focus on my points, but I’m trying."
With three games remaining on the schedule, Joel Quenneville will likely look to rest his top players for a game or two after capturing the division title and securing home-ice advantage throughout the Western Conference players.
But he may handle Panarin's situation differently.
"I think sometimes you try to help the guys out in those type of situations if you can," Quenneville said of those chasing performance-based bonuses like Panarin. "You’re still playing games, you’re trying to win and sometimes the score dictates the ability to do that. We’ll play it accordingly and see how that plays out."
So while his grandpa and everyone else not named Panarin continue to keep tabs on the scoring race in the final week of the 2016-17 campaign, Panarin himself will continue trying to block out the distractions and focus on his on-ice play.
The rest will take care of itself.
"Personally for me, I think it's a little bit distracting," Panarin said. "I'm playing better whenever I get on the ice and I focus on goals, I try to shoot, and then the points come. If I get on the ice and think about my points, bad luck happens. I don’t want to think about it."