• Hawks' Anisimov Expected To Center Second Line

    News: Artem Anisimov is expected to center the Blackhawks' second line during the upcoming season, Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago reports.
    Analysis: After acquiring Artem Anisimov Monday in the Brandon Saad trade, the Blackhawks affirmed their commitment to carve out a bigger role for the 27-year-old pivot by signing him to a five-year, $22.75 million contract extension the following day while unrestricted free agents Brad Richards and Antoine Vermette signed with other clubs. The Blackhawks have had some instability at the second-line center spot for the last several seasons, but the team is hoping that Anisimov can finally end the carousel. It's unclear who Anisimov will skate next to in 2015-16, but coach Joel Quenneville's historical tendency to separate Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane could allow Anisimov to ride shotgun with one of the league's most potent goal scorers.
  • Blackhawks, Anisimov Reach Five-Year Extension

    News: Artem Anisimov signed a five-year, $22.75 million contract extension with the Blackhawks on Wednesday, Darren Dreger of TSN reports.
    Analysis: Artem Anisimov, who was one of five players the Blackhawks received back in Tuesday's stunning deal that sent Brandon Saad to the Blue Jackets, is expected to slot in as the team's second or third-line center following the expected offseason departures of Brad Richards and Antoine Vermette. The 27-year-old hasn't tallied more than 45 points in any of his seven NHL seasons, but his steady play in all facets of the game should make him a useful piece in Chicago. Anisimov still has one year remaining on his previous deal with a cap hit of $3.28 million before the extension kicks in next summer and runs through the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
  • Anisimov, Blackhawks Working On Extension

    News: Artem Anisimov and the Blackhawks are close to agreeing to a contract extension, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports.
    Analysis: After the Blackhawks weren't able to come to terms on a new deal with restricted free agent Brandon Saad, the team shipped him to Columbus earlier Tuesday, with Artem Anisimov representing one of the five pieces the team received in return. While Anisimov won't be expected to fill the offensive void created by Saad's departure, he should provide a decent impersonation of Antoine Vermette, an unrestricted free agent who the Stanley Cup champs weren't expected to retain. Look for Anisimov to center the Blackhawks' third line this season and offer solid contributions in most phases of the game, though nothing that will likely result in him becoming a high-end fantasy commodity.
  • Anisimov Traded From Jackets To Hawks

    News: Artem Anisimov was acquired by the Blackhawks on Tuesday along with forwards Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp, and a 2016 fourth-round draft pick. The Blue Jackets will receive forwards Brandon Saad and Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Michael Paliotta in return.
    Analysis: Like many of the Blue Jackets' forwards last season, Artem Anisimov was felled by the injury bug in 2014-15, appearing in only 52 games and providing seven points and 27 games. He offers some ability from the faceoff dot and is capable of producing in a depth-scoring role, not unlike soon-to-be free agent Antoine Vermette, who is not expected to be re-signed. The 27-year-old Anisimov carries a $3.283 million cap hit for the coming season, so it may be challenging for the Blackhawks to fit him under the cap.
  • Assist Streak At Three Games For Jackets' Anisimov

    News: Artem Anisimov collected an assist in Monday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Rangers.
    Analysis: Artem Anisimov set up Marko Dano's second-period marker, giving him helpers in three consecutive games. Injuries have limited the center to just 49 contests this season, but he's been a decent depth scorer for the squad, picking up six goals and 19 assists.
  • Jackets' Anisimov Notches Helper

    News: Artem Anisimov was plus-2 with an assist and two penalty minutes in Tuesday's 5-3 win over the Ducks.
    Analysis: A solid performance from Artem Anisimov, who has collected six goals and 15 assists through 43 games, a season largely shortened by a torn triceps injury that he sustained late into November of 2014. A healthy Anisimov has crafted a three-game point streak and could have about half as many points as games played by the end of the regular season. However, anyone owning Anisimov in fantasy leagues probably wouldn't mind if he kept improving his plus/minus rating which now stands at minus-8.
  • Jackets' Anisimov Will Play Wednesday

    News: Artem Anisimov (undisclosed) will play Wednesday against the Oilers.
    Analysis: Artem Anisimov was held out of practice Tuesday with an undisclosed issue, but it wasn't believed to be serious enough to hold him out of Wednesday's contest. It hasn't been a great season for the 26-year-old, but he'll look to build off a recent stretch in which he's recorded four points in his last four games.
  • Jackets' Anisimov Misses Practice Tuesday

    News: Artem Anisimov didn't take part in Tuesday's practice, but Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards hasn't ruled him out for Wednesday's game in Edmonton, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
    Analysis: Richards would only say that Artem Anisimov is "banged up", so in all likelihood he was just getting a maintenance day on Tuesday. With just five goals and 18 points in 39 games this season though, Anisimov won't be a big fantasy factor even if he does suit up.
  • Jackets' Anisimov Will Play Thursday

    News: Artem Anisimov (illness) will play Thursday against the Red Wings, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports.
    Analysis: The Blue Jackets will have two of their three sick players available Thursday, as Artem Anisimov and Nick Foligno return to the team's third line while Brandon Dubinsky sits out. Anisimov wasn't forced to miss any game action due to the illness, but had been listed as questionable before showing that he was healthy during the team's morning skate.
  • Jackets' Anisimov Questionable For Thursday

    News: Artem Anisimov is questionable for Thursday's game against the Red Wings with flu-like symptoms, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
    Analysis: It's the same bug that caused Nick Foligno to miss a game earlier in the week, but at this point Artem Anisimov hasn't been ruled out for Thursday.