The Chicago Blackhawks wasted no time inking their latest acquisition to a long-term deal.
Artem Anisimov, who was not set to become an unrestricted free agent until the summer of 2016, has agreed to a five-year, $22.75-million extension with the champions.
The deal carries a $4.55-million salary cap hit.
The 27-year-old Anisimov was acquired by Chicago Tuesday in a stunning multi-player deal that sent RFA Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The centre is “someone we’ve been chasing for some time,” Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said on Tuesday’s post-trade conference call.
“I talked a long time about our desire to find a big centerman. There’s very few of them in the NHL. You just look around at the 30 teams and to be able to get a guy in the prime of his career at 6-foot-4, who could do a little bit of everything, it’s someone we’ve been chasing for a long time.”
Anisimov has scored 86 goals and 106 assists in 412 regular-season games since the New York Rangers drafted him in the second round of the 2006.
In 2012, Anisimov was one of the key players New York shipped to Columbus in the Rick Nash trade.
The Russian’s previous contract carried a $3.283-million salary cap hit.