Artemi Panarin doesn’t seem predisposed to signing a contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets before becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer.
That means general manager Jarmo Kekalainen will either have to trade Panarin before the late February deadline, or perhaps simply keep the star forward for the team’s potential playoff push and then simply recover the cap space savings while collecting no assets for him.
Panarin’s UFA stance with the Blue Jackets was the subject of part of Thursday’s edition of TSN’s Insider Trading.
“If that’s not bad enough because it shocked the organization in the summer, my understanding is that he doesn’t want to sign with anyone, period, during this season,” indicated Pierre LeBrun. “In other words, if and when he gets traded he’ll be traded as a rental, which will greatly diminish the potential return for him; compared to if, let’s say, he would be gone in a trade like Max Pacioretty, who signed an extension with Vegas, which gave the Montreal Canadiens a greater return.
“It sounds like, instead, it’ll be like Erik Karlsson leaving Ottawa, which hurts your return if you’re Columbus.”
Panarin is in the back half of a two-year contract with a cap hit of $6 million.
He could, if he wanted, sign a contract extension with the Blue Jackets - or an acquiring team via trade - at any point.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly