Richard Panik

Blackhawks trade Richard Panik to Coyotes

Blackhawks trade Richard Panik to Coyotes

A day after scoring his first goal since Oct. 21, Richard Panik is on the move.

The Blackhawks have traded Panik and prospect Laurent Dauphin to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for 22-year-old forward Anthony Duclair and Adam Clendening, the team announced Wednesday. No salary was retained, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

The trade should come to no one's surprise, as Panik has been a victim of the healthy scratch multiple times this season.

The 26-year-old foward had the best season of his career last season with the Blackhawks, recording 22 goals and 22 assists. It earned him a two-year, $5.6 million extension this past May.

But things have been quite the opposite this season. Panik has struggled to make an impact, having just six goals and 10 assists in 37 games.

"He had a great year last year and probably hasn’t had the consistency he wanted or we did this year," Stan Bowman told reporters Wednesday. "But he still has a lot of good attributes to his game so hopefully he’ll do well there."

In 33 games this season, Duclair has nine goals and six assists. He is a pending restricted free agent with a $1.2 million cap hit.

"I really like the way he skates, he brings the ability to be a really electrifying player," Bowman said. "You have to give him some time. He’s coming to a new team so we’ll be patient with him. But that element of speed and youth is something that was really important to us."

A familiar face is also coming back in the trade.

Clendening was selected by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft. In 2015, he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Gustav Forsling. The 25-year-old defenseman signed a one-year contract with the Coyotoes in July, but has yet to play this season.

Five takeaways from Blackhawks 8-2 win over Senators: Patrick Kane, Nick Schmaltz lead power play to big night

Five takeaways from Blackhawks 8-2 win over Senators: Patrick Kane, Nick Schmaltz lead power play to big night

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks' 8-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night at Canadian Tire Centre:

1. Richard Panik ends lengthy scoring drought.

Coming off a game in which he logged only 10:53 of ice time and was a healthy scratch almost a week ago in New York, Panik turned in arguably his best effort of the season in this one.

The Senators had 13 scoring chances at 5-on-5 in the first period compared to the Blackhawks' 2, but it was the latter who capitalized on their chances. Panik picked up a trickling puck in the slot after it was blocked and slapped home a shot that put the Blackhawks up 1-0 with 1:09 left in the opening frame.

It was Panik's sixth goal of the season, but just his first since Oct. 21 — a span of 27 games — and first 5-on-5 goal since Oct. 7, the second game of the season. Panik finished the game with nine shot attempts (five on goal), two hits, one takeaway and one blocked shot in 13:47 of ice time.

2. Patrick Sharp getting hot.

Since being a healthy scratch in back-to-back games against Edmonton and Calgary to close out 2017, the 36-year-old's stick is heating up and he's had the scoring touch as of late that's helped him become an eight-time 20-goal scorer in this league. Sharp responded to the message by scoring a goal in a 5-2 win over the Rangers last Wednesday that turned out to be the game winner, and scored another against the Vegas Golden Knights two days later.

Well, he kept his success in 2018 going when he fired a 48-foot wrist shot that got past goaltender Craig Anderson for a 2-0 Blackhawks lead at the 5:14 mark of the second period. Sharp has scored three goals in his last four games after failing to find the back of the net in his previous 12. It's even more impressive when you consider he scored only three goals in his first 35 games of the season.

Encouraging for Chicago to see the bounces going Sharp's way, and perhaps it can serve as a spark offensively.

3. Patrick Kane, Nick Schmaltz lead power play to big night.

Going into the game, the Blackhawks had the third-worst power play in the league with a 14.4 percent success rate and were 0-for-9 in that department over their last four games. But they took full advantage of going up against the fourth-worst penalty kill unit (76.3 percent) by scoring a season-high four goals with the man advantage, three of which came in the second period.

Schmaltz scored the first two, Jan Rutta got the third one and Kane scored the fourth, while assisting on each of the first three. Kane had registered three assists in a game 11 times in his NHL career, but this was the first time he recorded four and he became the seventh Blackhawks player to ever do that in one period, joining Doug Bentley, Bill Mosienko, Jim Wiste, Cliff Koroll, Jim Pappin and Patrick Sharp. Kane's five-point game was also a new career high after collecting four points in a game six times in his career.

Schmaltz has five goals during his career-high four-game goal streak, and 11 points (six goals, five assists) in his last seven games. His 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists) in 38 games this season is also a new career high; he had 28 points (six goals, 22 assists) in 61 games last season.

As a team, the Blackhawks hadn't scored three power-play goals in a game all season and it was their first time scoring four since Feb. 15, 2016 in a 7-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs when they went 4-for-7.

4. Jonathan Toews looking like Jonathan Toews again.

The Blackhawks go as their captain goes, and boy is he rolling. This is the best stretch of hockey he's played all season and it's not close.

With a two-goal night, Toews extended his point streak to five games after previously going a season-long six games without a point. He has five goals and four assists during his point streak, which has included four multi-point efforts.

The Blackhawks are 4-1-1 in their last six games and have moved back into a wild card spot in the Western Conference (for now) in large part because of No. 19 looking like No. 19 again.

5. Will Brent Seabrook get back into the lineup Wednesday?

It was probably hard for Blackhawks fans to see a three-time Stanley Cup champion and staple on the blue line for more than a decade be a healthy scratch even though it may have been warranted. And it wasn't a bad time to do it, against an Ottawa team that has been extremely underwhelming this season and it being the first of a back-to-back.

But will Joel Quenneville reinsert him back into the lineup against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday? It will be difficult to break up the pairings after having a hand in the eight-goal outburst, and five of the six defensemen collecting at least a point in the victory. Duncan Keith and Jordan Oesterle each tallied two assists, Jan Rutta scored his first goal since Nov. 12 while Michal Kempny and Connor Murphy each added an apple of their own and had a plus-2 rating as a pairing.

Despite all that, don't expect Seabrook to be watching for the press box very long. 

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Stars in divisional showdown


Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Stars in divisional showdown

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Dallas Stars Thursday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Can Patrick Sharp stay hot against former team?

After going pointless in his previous 16 games, Sharp has three points (one goal, two assists) in his last two and had the most ice time (15:30) Tuesday in Nashville since Oct. 19 when he logged 16:17 vs. Edmonton. He even saw some power play time after being taken off it during his scoring drought.

Sharp, who spent two years with the Stars after being traded by the Blackhawks in the 2015 offseason, has also had great success against his former team. In 38 career games against Dallas, he has 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists), 13 of which (six goals, seven assists) have come on the man advantage.

Look for No. 10 in red to play with a little extra juice as his confidence continues to grow.

2. What's the deal with Richard Panik?

For three straight games, Panik has seen his ice time diminish significantly, going from 16:38 vs. Florida to 14:36 vs. Anaheim to a season-low 8:14 vs. Nashville, eight days after he logged only 12:28 against Tampa Bay which was his previous season low.

Despite all that, Joel Quenneville has not taken Panik off the top line because this is as balanced a four-line rotation the Blackhawks have had all season. But will that change soon in favor of a guy like Alex DeBrincat, who deserves to be playing top-six minutes after accumulating 13 points (nine goals, four assists) in 12 games this month? 

The concern there would be taking some offensive fire power off the third line and being too top heavy, but it's worth keeping an eye on. Perhaps a second straight loss would force Quenneville to consider tinkering.

3. Look out for hat tricks.

Word of advice: If you're attending this game, bring a hat you don't mind throwing on the ice because we may have another hat trick on our hands.

There has been a hat trick at the United Center in three straight games — Miles Wood (New Jersey) on Nov. 12, Artem Anisimov on Nov. 15 and Alex DeBrincat on Monday — and to go along with that, the Stars are coming off back-to-back hat-trick games.

Tyler Seguin had one last Friday in a 6-4 win over Calgary while Radek Faksa had a natural hat trick in a span of 6:46 in Tuesday's 3-0 victory over Vegas.

What are the odds it'll be four straight in Chicago?