Richard Panik hasn’t been with the Arizona Coyotes for too long, but could he be wearing another jersey before the end of the season?
While the Coyotes could certainly argue that they won that deal, with both Panik and Dauphin still with the organisation while Duclair and Clendening both moved on to the Columbus Blue Jackets as free agents, it might be the end of the road for the Slovakian this season.
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In 35 games Panik played in the second half of last season, he had eight goals and 19 total points as the Coyotes turned a corner and began to win at an unexpected rate.
This season, however, Panik has been fairly inconsistent for the team and has produced fewer points while playing more games.
In 44 games this season, Panik has 10 goals and eight assists for 18 total points – registering around 0.40 points per game compared to 0.54 in 2017/18.
Panik is a decent possession player, with a 50.9% Corsi rating – starting in the offensive zone 51.6% of the time while averaging 16:47 on the ice.
The biggest concern with Panik is how spread out his points have become. In the team’s 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, the soon-to-be 28-year-old had two goals and an assist – having failed to register a single point in six games leading up to it.
Since that game, Panik has just one solitary goal – coming in the 6-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
With the trade deadline approaching, it could be reasonable to expect Panik to be a piece dangled for contenders to take a chance on – with the Slovakian having plenty to offer a team needing depth in the bottom six.
Despite his inconsistencies in front of the net, Panik plays fairly physically and quite well defensively, throwing 68 hits so far with 26 blocked shots and an impressive 28 takeaways.
AZ Central list Panik as the top player most likely to be moved by the Arizona Coyotes at the trade deadline, with Panik’s expiring contract and low cap hit ($2.8 million) something that legitimate contenders could see as a bonus – particularly if he is able to produce in front of net as a third line winger.
The situation with Panik could largely depend on how close the Coyotes are to making the playoffs by the time the trade deadline rolls around.
If the team is some way back, offering up Panik for potential picks could be the best outcome for the team – being able to use picks to continue to build around the growing young core of talent they have.
Taking on a young prospect could also be an option for the team, with the Tucson Roadrunners currently being an ideal location for a young player to develop – a system that must continue for the Coyotes to build long-term success.
If Panik is traded, it will be a disappointment but equally could help the team further down the road.
What do you think Coyotes fans? Would you be happy seeing Panik traded at the deadline if it helps the Coyotes get good draft picks and potential prospects in return? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!