They're not a "package deal," but...
What if one team that both Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky has interest in decides to pursue them both? That's been an increasingly-discussed possibility over the last couple of weeks as the Blue Jackets have received more clarity (kind of) regarding their two pending free agents.
That team, the Florida Panthers, cleared cap space and added flexibility to make a free agency splash on July 1 – and multiple outlets have reported their interest in both Panarin and Bobrovsky. GM Dale Tallon made a four-player, multiple-asset trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday:
Key for FLA is shedding salary commitments beyond this season, getting flexibility to potentially take a run at pending UFAs Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. Key for FLA was turning expiring contracts into younger contract players without taking an immediate step back now.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 1, 2019
It sure feels like the Panthers are gearing up to take a big swing, and sounds like their targets are both currently playing for the Blue Jackets. Given the assets being exchanged and the number of quality rentals available on the market, it makes things quite interesting leading into the trade deadline for Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen.
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