Blue Jackets star forward Artemi Panarin has a few places in mind if his playing days in Columbus are winding down. It's believed his preferred destinations are Los Angeles, New York and Florida.
This coming from a report Monday morning via NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, where he stated that "rumblings at the draft" were that these teams (or cities) were in play for Panarin – but not specifically if they were trade possibilities or places he would consider as a free agent (July 2019).
So the question is then asked: What's Panarin referring to with 'New York' and 'Florida'? Does he mean the Rangers, or the Islanders? Just the Panthers, or the Lightning too?
Unfortunately for Blue Jackets fans, it may be all four. The motivation for Panarin very well could be the seeking of a bigger city and/or market.
No real trade proposals have been reported thus far, and the Blue Jackets star still has a year remaining on his contract at $6 million, and the team is hoping that's enough time for him to be swayed to commit to a long-term extension.
Aaron Portzline of The Athletic has covered this story as well, and was told by Panarin's agent Dan Milstein that the player has no list of preferred landing spots. While there may not be a formal list, we're probably talking semantics.
However, if he is not dealt and this season doesn’t meet team expectations of success (or Panarin's expectations), ownership, management and fans may be living on a prayer next July. What matters, at this point, is that they maximize the asset – whether it's keeping him for a run next year (as Friedman mentioned) or trading him in a blockbuster deal.
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