The days are ticking down towards the NHL’s February 25 trade deadline and this year’s biggest prize is still on the board. But is there a chance he'll stick with his team?
Heading into the final year of his two-year, $12 million contract, reports have suggested that Columbus Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin could be out of town sooner than later. For the second consecutive season, Panarin leads the Jackets in points and has clearly been their top forward for a second consecutive season. With eyes on him from contenders around the league, Panarin was asked if there’s a chance he would sign with Columbus and according to Jackets beat writer Brian Hedger, things got pretty awkward.
Not the tweet Columbus hockey fans were looking for.
Panarin’s response comes shortly after he decided to make a huge off-ice move that has left fans speculating his departure. On Friday afternoon, news leaked that he left his previous agent Dan Milstein and now being represented by teammate Sergei Bobrovsky’s agent Paul Theofanous. Could this be an implication that the two will leave together for the same squad in free agency?
So with his tenure in Columbus potentially coming to an end, where would the best possible fit be? We’re sure numerous teams have been lighting up Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekäläinen’s phone this season but TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes Nashville would be a perfect fit.
Let the Panarin (and Bobrovsky?) sweepstakes begin!
(H/T Brian Hedger)