The Chicago Blackhawks announced today they have agreed to terms with forward Richard Panik (PAH-neek) on a one-year contract.
Panik, 25, appeared in 30 games with the Blackhawks last season, recording six goals and eight points after joining the team via trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 3. During the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he tallied three assists in six games for Chicago. Panik started the season with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League where he collected nine goals and 16 helpers in 33 games.
The native of Martin, Slovakia has notched 25 goals and 22 assists in 181 career NHL games spanning parts of four seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning (2012-14) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (2014-15). Tampa Bay’s third selection (52nd overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft, Panik has also registered 41 goals and 83 points in 120 career American Hockey League tilts with the Norfolk Admirals (2009-10, 2011-12) and Syracuse Crunch (2012-2014). He helped Norfolk capture the 2012 Calder Cup, collecting five goals and six points in 18 postseason contests.
He began his professional career in the 2007-08 season with Ocelari Trinec in the Czech Hockey League where he played two seasons. After that, he played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with Windsor (2009-10), Belleville (2009-11) and Guelph (2011). He represented his native Slovakia in the 2014 Winter Olympics, appearing in four games, and in the World Championships (2010, 2014, 2015).