Richard Panik was acquired by the New York Islanders last summer in a trade sending Nick Leddy and his $5.5 million dollar cap hit to the Red Wings.
Panik provided some solid veteran depth to an already veteran squad looking to make a third straight playoff run. On many NHL teams, Panik would be able to have a spot on the NHL roster. Unfortunately for Panik, the Islanders were already deep and that meant a season in the AHL.
Panik made his Islanders debut during a stint of injuries and a Covid spread to the big squad. His performance fit the Islanders style and he made a valuable contribution in a short time.
New York Islanders' Richard Panik Wins Calder Cup
In late May, the Islanders added some additional prospects to the Bridgeport roster. This caused Panik to see less of an opportunity and the Islanders acted quickly to find Panik a temporary spot to contribute.
The Islanders loaned Panik to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. The Wolves are the AHL affiliate for the Carolina Hurricanes.
This was the fourth loan of the season for Lamoriello as he had loaned prospect Bode Wilde at the beginning of the season and later, Leo Komarov was loaned to the KHL.
Thomas Hickey was also loaned out to another AHL team to end the season.
The Wolves have recently won the AHL championship and Panik was a big part of the success. Panik played 11 regular season games for the Wolves, recording two goals and five assists.
In the playoffs, Panik elevated his game and contributed six goals and five assists in sixteen games. In the Finals, Panik recorded a point in all five contests and a goal in four straight games.
The veteran winger has one year left on his contract with a cap hit of $1.375 million.
Does Panik factor into the roster for the 2022-23 Islanders?
With the uncertainty of what Lamoriello will be able to do in the summer, Panik could be a fall-back option if the hefty contracts on the wings can be moved to create a larger move.