We weren't quite sure what to make of Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen's summer meeting in France with Artemi Panarin. Panarin, as you know, has told the club that he's not ready to sign a long-term contract extension in Columbus (a maximum of eight years is allowed under the CBA) and it's thrown their offseason plans into a blender.
Along with agent Dan Milstein, Panarin and Kekalainen met but without a resolution. Panarin remains non-committal to the Blue Jackets.
Meeting between Jarmo Kekalainen and Panarin took 45 minutes. Told that Artemi is still not ready to sign a long term deal #CBJ
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) July 16, 2018
Aaron Portzline of The Athletic said the meeting took place in Nice, France, and was able to get a comment from Milstein.
Meeting between #CBJ GM Jarmo Kekalainen and F Artemi Panarin has finished in Paris. Kekalainen declined comment. Daniel Milstein, agent for Panarin, said it was good conversation, but no contract progress at this time.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) July 16, 2018
Panarin is entering the final season of a contract that pays him $6 million annually. He was a point-per-game player in 2017-18, his first with the Blue Jackets, and was far and away their best player in the regular season and playoffs.
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