Earlier this week Artemi Panarin’s agent released a statement saying that his client would not discuss his future until after the season.
Panarin is a UFA following this season and expectations are that he may be traded before the trade deadline despite Columbus being in playoff position.
Aaron Portzline, at The Athletic, writes that his belief is that if Panarin reaches free agency on July 1 that his “most likely destination” would be with the Rangers.
The Rangers have long been mentioned as a possible destination for Panarin as a free agent.
Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers should avoid any potential deal that would send Panarin to the Rangers in exchange for Kevin Hayes. (NY Post)
The Panthers trade with the Penguins yesterday is believed to center around clearing cap space to potentially sign Panarin and/or Sergei Bobrovsky. (Pierre LeBrun)
Adam Rotter: The idea of Panarin for Hayes has been racking through my head the past few days but as Brooks suggests, it does not make a ton of sense. Trading anything for Panarin, during the season, doesn’t make a ton of sense but it could make sense after the season when acquiring his rights would give the Rangers the option of an 8th-year. The Rangers will likely keep all assets though and roll the dice that they are able to land Panarin on July 1. Most around the NHL believe, that if all things are equal, Panarin will join the Rangers but it’s by no means a slam dunk. Florida is a realistic option, some believe that the Islanders are, returning to Chicago can’t be counted out and any team with cap space has to be considered a potential fit.