Artemi Panarin has told the Columbus Blue Jackets that he intends to hit unrestricted free agency this summer. For months now, we have heard rumors of Panarin being unhappy in Columbus and wanting out, this is basically the icing on the cake.
Panarin is going to hit the open market and get paid. I mean, now that Tyler Seguin is off the market for next offseason, will there be a more sought after forward than Panarin? Probably not. We are looking at $8.5m+ for the 26-year-old Russian. I mean, this guy could even sign a ticket with an AAV of $10m.
Panarin has only played 3 seasons at the NHL level, but has played in at least 80 games in each season and has scored 27+ goals in each, his career high in goals coming in 2016-17, scoring 31 with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Could Panarin end up back with the Blackhawks? It could happen. I doubt it. They are in cap hell, so it would be pretty tough. There have also been reports that he wants to play on a coast or by a body of water. I mean, this guy has New York or LA written all over him. I could even see New Jersey making a run at him.
The Kings don’t have much cap space though and don’t have much money coming off the books next season, so who knows. New York could definitely happen. I mean, the Rangers are going full rebuild and will have a shit ton of money to through around next year. I could see them coming in with a big money offer. But again, what do I know.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Panarin is one of the top scorers in the game and can make a good team, great. So hopefully we get some kind of blockbuster before the season, because for the Bluejackets sake, you don’t want another Tavares situation like the Islanders had the past year.