Richard Panik is off to Washington after signing a four-year deal worth $2.75 million per season. The Capitals will serve as Panik’s fifth NHL team in seven years.
This past season, Panik put up a respectable 14 goals and 33 points in 75 games with the Arizona Coyotes, spending much of his time playing alongside Derek Stepan and providing a popgun offense with at least some punch.
This is a quiet yet effective deal for the Caps. Panik’s addition comes in the wake of the Capitals losing Andre Burakovsky, who was shipped off to the Colorado Avalanche, and watching Brett Connolly exit the lineup via free agency Panik’s physical play and penalty-killing prowess make him a good third-line fit with Lars Eller and Carl Hagelin.
The contract itself also brings solid value, as well. Just two seasons ago in Chicago, Panik had 22 goals and 44 points in 82 games while filling a second-line scoring spot. Washington provides a similar situation: the Caps finished third in the Eastern Conference and fifth in the league this past season with 278 goals. If Panik can put up 20 goals once again – and given the caliber of player surrounding him, he will have the potential to do just that – on a deal that is slightly cheaper than the $2.8-million pact he was signed to last season, then Washington could have made one of the most savvy signings of the summer.
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