Richard Panik (born on February 7, 1991 in Martin, Slovakia) is a Slovak professional ice hockey right winger for the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL.
Panik played two years professionally for Oceláři Třinec of the Czech Extraliga before being drafted. After being drafted 52nd overall in 2009 by the Tampa Bay Lightning, he attended the team's training camp in preparation for the 2009–10 season. Panik was ultimately cut from training camp, whereupon he joined the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
Later that season, Pánik played for Slovakia at the 2009 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, where he scored two goals and three assists in five games.
On January 5, 2010, the Spitfires sent him to the Belleville Bulls in a blockbuster trade (along with Austen Brassard, Steve Gleeson, Paul Bezzo, a second-round pick in 2012, a third-round pick in 2010 and a seventh-round pick in 2012), in return for Philipp Grubauer, Marc Cantin and Stephen Johnson.
Turning professional in the 2011–12 season, Pánik was a member of the Norfolk Admirals team that set the longest win streak in professional hockey in North America, winning a record-breaking 28 consecutive victories that season. Pánik also helped the Admirals capture the Calder Cup championship in a 4–0 sweep over the Toronto Marlies.
Due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout that cancelled nearly half of the regular season, Tampa Bay assigned Pánik, as well as 17 others, to the Syracuse Crunch, the Lightning's new AHL affiliate for the 2012–13 season.
On February 11, 2013, several weeks after NHL play had resumed, the Lightning recalled Pánik, where he later scored his first career NHL goal on February 23 against Dan Ellis of the Carolina Hurricanes in a 5–2 victory. On March 1, the Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned Pánik to Syracuse after playing nine games in the NHL, registering one goal from eight shots on net. At the end of the AHL regular season, Pánik had played in 43 games with the Crunch, recording 21 goals and 35 points, including an AHL-high 12-game point streak from November 2 through December 1, 2013, with 17. Pánik then helped Syracuse reach the Calder Cup Final, though the team fell to the Grand Rapids Griffins in a 4–2 series defeat.
Pánik made the 2013–14 Lightning roster out of training camp to begin the regular season. Despite making the team, he saw his playing time dwindle as the season went on, however, and, after struggling to find consistency in his game, was demoted on January 24, 2014, to Syracuse. Several months later, on March 5, Tampa Bay again recalled Pánik from the Crunch. He finished the regular season with 50 appearances for Tampa Bay, scoring three goals and ten assists for 13 points, in addition to Stanley Cup playoff games played against the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Quarter-finals.
On July 11, 2014, Pánik signed a one-year, two-way contract extension with Tampa Bay. After failing to make the 2014–15 Lightning roster out of training camp, however, he was placed on waivers, where he was then claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 9, 2014.
On October 25, 2014, he scored his first goal as a Maple Leaf in a 4–1 loss to the visiting Boston Bruins.
Pánik experienced a breakout season in Toronto, setting career-highs in games played (76), goals scored (11) and points (17). Following this noteworthy campaign, he signed a one-year, $925,000 contract with the Maple Leafs on July 1, 2015.
Pánik was expected to play with the Maple Leafs in the 2015–16 season, however, he was beaten on the depth chart by new additions such as Brad Boyes and P. A. Parenteau. Additionally, the Maple Leafs claimed defenceman Frank Corrado off waivers on October 6th, 2015. Having reached the maximum roster size, Panik was placed on waivers with the purpose of being sent down to the Toronto Marlies. He cleared waivers the following day.
On January 3, 2016, after playing 32 games with the Marlies, Pánik was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Jeremy Morin. He finished the season with the Blackhawks and was promptly resigned to a one year, $875,000 contract extension. He scored his first career hat trick against the Nashville Predators on October 15, 2016 as a member of the Blackhawks.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|2012–13||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||25||5||4||9||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|2013–14||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||50||3||10||13||21||2||0||0||0||4|
|2014–15||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||76||11||6||17||49||—||—||—||—||—|
Pánik was selected to play for Slovakia at the 2010 IIHF World Championship, where he recorded two assists and finished a plus-minus rating of +3.
He also represented Slovakia at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi where the nation finished in 11th in the tournament, but he did not record a point.
In 2016, Panik married Nikola Kochanová.