Report: Artemi Panarin seeking 6 years at $6 million AAV

Watch as Artemi Panarin is in the right place at the right time to give Russia a 2-1 lead over Canada.

The Chicago Blackhawks have been known to part ways with talented young players when squeezed against the salary cap, though general manager Stan Bowman hopes Artemi Panarin won’t be the next to go.

The 2016 Calder Trophy winner will be a restricted free agent next off-season and is reportedly looking for a six-year contract with an average annual value of $6 million, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Obviously, Artemi is a big part of our team. We’re excited for the season he had,” said Bowman. “We’re looking forward to him building on that.”

Panarin was signed out of the KHL and found instant chemistry with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov last season, finishing the year with 30 goals and 77 points in 80 games.

His performance was enough to trigger $2.575 million in bonuses, which will be felt on Chicago’s salary cap this season.

The Blackhawks were forced to trade promising 22-year-old Teuvo Teravainen to the Carolina Hurricanes just to be rid of Bryan Bickell‘s contract this off-season. The year prior, it was Brandon Saad who had to be shipped out to the Columbus Blue Jackets, as Jonathan Toews and Kane’s massive contracts kicked in.

Chicago is poised to enter the 2016-17 season with just under $2.4 million in cap space according to General Fanager, but has almost $58 million tied up in just 20 players for 2017-18.

There will be a lot of players to sign, but not a lot of big money to hand out, though you can bet Bowman will do everything in his power to keep Panarin in the fold.

The 24-year-old’s game meshes perfectly with Kane’s, and Panarin’s agent Tom Lynn has said that he and the team have begun discussions on a new contract.

Bowman has kept quiet as to how far the two sides have progressed.

“The negotiations will be what they are between his agent and myself,” he said. “I respect Tom. He’s a very knowledgeable guy and I know Artemi put a lot of faith in him.

“Tom and I will work to get something done.”

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