I’ve been promising Rangers fans everywhere that Artemi Panarin would be a NY Ranger this summer for a year. Some of you disagreed. Some of you doubted. Some of you didn’t even want him on the squad. Regardless, the unquestioned top free agent in this (and next) year’s market has brought his services to MSG and I couldn’t be more pumped. I mean look at the talent the Blueshirts have recently added to their lineup (most likely):
There’s still a decision to be made on Kreider but with the amount of bread going to the Bread Man, there’d need to be some next-level creativity to keep Kreids around. But let’s not forget Zibanejad is still here, just 26 at a laughably low $5.35M/per for three more years. Buchnevich will most likely stick around and potentially play alongside Zib/Panarin to finally put together the 60-point season he’s certainly capable of – provided he stays out of the Quinn Bin. Chytil has somehow become an afterthought in a sense behind Kakko/Kravtsov but he’ll turn 20 before his sophomore year & showed flashes of dominance as a teenage rookie. The back end has been improved dramatically with the additions of Trouba & Fox while Libor Hajek should be back healthy & ready to make a bid at a regular spot with the big boys after a solid 5-game debut. This rebuild has been fast-tracked and while there’s still plenty of development left, a lot of pieces are in place.
So what can Panarin bring to the table? Simple. Contrary to what Chicago thought when they dealt him to Columbus, he makes everyone around him better. Period. He’s a point-per-game offensive threat that is exactly the type of high-end talent the Blueshirts need to expedite their youth movement. It’s difficult for kids to make an impact early in their careers playing alongside middle-six grinders & 40-point guys. As I mentioned earlier, I’d expect Panarin to play alongside Zib and Buch but as everyone knows linemates are fluid. Perhaps Zib and Bread are separated for depth or one of the rookies gets a shot on their flank.
Ah who gives a shit. Artemi Panarin is a NY Ranger and any Islanders fans that seriously thought he’d choose those DUMPS over MSG is a fucking idiot.