The “Breadman, ” is now the bread winner and he apparently couldn’t be any happier with the two-year, $12 million extension he inked with the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday.
Panarin spoke to the media Thursday about his new deal. He seems to be ecstatic to be in Chicago for the next two years and appears relieved to have gotten this over earlier than expected.
“I’m happy with the timing. It’s nice to get it out of the way, ” Panarin said with the help of an interpreter, according to CSN’s Tracey Myers. “Some of the pressure is relieved but some additional pressure is now here because I need to justify the trust that’s been given to me and perform as expected or better.”
Panarin certainly did enough to justify an extension in the first place. He won the Calder Trophy last season after posting 77 points in his first season in Chicago. So far, he’s scored 15 goals and has 37 points in 37 games this year.
But, Panarin’s torrid start to his NHL career has some surprised he even accepted a bridge deal. At 25, some thought Panarin would go for the monstrous pay day and cash in now.
“If I agreed that means it was very important, ” Panarin said, per Myers. “Chicago gave me a chance to play at a very high level. I like everything about the team and environment here, and you can’t earn all the money in the world.”
The Blackhawks will have a tough decision or two to make during the offseason to accompany Panarin’s $6 million salary over the next two years. But, both sides are happy for now.