All signs point to Artemi Panarin exploring his free agent options this summer, and there will be no shortage of suitors for his services.
Elliotte Friedman had a brief mention in his latest edition of 31 Thoughts.
“13. If you’re wondering who might be next to follow John Tavares’s free-agent setup, the betting money is on Artemi Panarin.”
The NHL Insider was asked about that notion during a Wednesday afternoon radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960.
“Yeah, I think that everybody is kind of preparing for that,” indicated Friedman. “I think that Panarin has made it clear he wants to be in a big market, probably closer to the coasts.
“I think if the Rangers are interested, I think they’d be a very, very serious contender.
“But I know that there are teams kind of preparing for the possibility that he could have that kind of a set-up.”
Panarin is in the second season of a two-year, $12 million contract and has indicated an unwillingness to sign an extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets at this time.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly