Blackhawks sign winger Artemi Panarin to two-year extension

The Chicago Blackhawks have signed star winger Artemi Panarin to a two-year extension.

The Russian goal scorer, 25, would have been a restricted free agent July 1, but he has agreed to a new deal that will pay him an average of $6 million per year starting next season, his agent, Tom Lynn, confirmed to ESPN.

He's currently earning $3.5 million per season.

"I like everything about the team and environment here," Panarin said on Thursday. "You can't earn all the money in the world."

Panarin will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this new contract. The Blackhawks could not have fit him in under their long-term salary cap commitments given what the cost of a long-term deal would have been.
Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Artem Anisimov, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford all have long-term contracts signed through at least the 2019-20 season.

Panarin leads the Blackhawks (22-10-5) in points with 37 (15 goals, 22 assists).
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