The plot continues to develop with Artemi Panarin.
We now that his agent, Dan Milstein, has let the Blue Jackets know they want to wait until after the season to talk contract. It doesn't sound promising for Panarin's future in Columbus (to say the least).
On Saturday's edition of Headlines as part of Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet hockey insider Elliotte Friedman said the Blue Jackets are not allowing interested teams to talk about a contract extension as part of any deal involving Panarin, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Here's some rationale behind that move, per Chris Johnston:
While Columbus could obviously maximize its return if the acquiring team knew it would get Panarin immediately signed to an eight-year extension, this tact makes the trade process much cleaner. There is reason to doubt the talented winger’s willingness to negotiate with anyone before hitting the open market this summer — just as he’s repeatedly put off talks with the Blue Jackets in recent months — and so it eliminates a potential song and dance that could sour trade discussions.
So, the best package (assuming there is one) will land Panarin – regardless if it's a "preferred destination" or not. Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen has made it clear, so it may seem, what it will take to acquire the team's most dynamic player and there are also ground rules to be followed.
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