The Rangers have officially announced that they have signed forward Artemi Panarin.
The deal is believed to be seven-years and carry an AAV of $11.6 million and a total of $81.5 million.
Panarin is believed to have turned down an eight-year offer from Columbus for a total of $96 million as well as a seven-year deal from the Islanders expected to total of $87.5 million and an AAV of $12.5 million.
Panarin joins, as of now, Vitali Kravtsov, Pavel Buchnevich, Vlad Namestnikov, Igor Shesterkin, Yegor Rykov, Alex Geoorgiev as fellow Russians in the organization.
In four NHL seasons, Panarin averages 80.5 games per season, 29 goals, 51 assists and 80 points and 19:30 per game.
From the Rangers release:
- He has recorded 74 or more points in every season of his NHL career.
- Panarin is one of three undrafted players in NHL history who have tallied at least 70 points in each of their first four seasons in the league (along with Wayne Gretzky and Peter Stastny).
- Since 1990-91, Panarin is one of only four NHL players who have tallied at least 74 points in each of their first four seasons in the league (along with Sergei Fedorov, Evgeni Malkin, and Alex Ovechkin).
- Panarin ranks fourth in even strength points over his four seasons in the league (240), trailing only McDavid (270), Kane (269), and Crosby (245) in those four seasons, and his 154 even strength assists are also the third-most in the NHL over the span (McDavid – 165; Kane – 156).
- 2015-16 Calder Trophy and All-Rookie Team
- 2016-17 – Second Team All-Star LW
- Winner of the Kharlamov Trophy as the Russian Player of the Year in 2015-16.
Over the past four seasons, Panarin ranks 8th in total points scored.
Welcome to the Big Apple Breadman!#NYR
— Henrik Lundqvist (@hlundqvist35) July 1, 2019
Adam Rotter: In Panarin the Rangers land the best UFA forward and an elite 27-year old forward. He provides the Rangers with their most dynamic offensive player since Marian Gaborik and a foundational player that will combine with Mika Zibanejad, Vitali Kravtsov and Kaapo Kakko to form 5/6ths of the Rangers long-term top-six. It’s a long-term deal and the highest cap hit the Rangers have ever given out but the opportunity to acquire a player like this for just money is extremely rare. With a ton of cap space coming off the books following 2020-21, and the belief that a new US TV deal will drive up the cap, the Rangers should be in a fairly good position to keep everyone signed but those are situations that will be dealt with down the line.
I really wasn’t sure if Panarin was going to end up with the Rangers. The feeling was that the Rangers were not going to present Panarin his best offer and that Panarin was going to have to meet them a bit and leave money on the table if he wanted to make MSG his home. That is what ultimately happened but it was far from a sure thing. Most thought that Panrin’s top choice with Florida with the Rangers a close second and everyone else a level below. The Panthers needed Sergei Bobrovski and would have needed to make a few other moves not just to clear enough room for Panarin but for them to have depth and fill out the roster. The Islanders made a huge run at him but it’s believed that the money wasn’t a drastic enough difference for him to choose them over the Rangers.
So how does this change things for the Rangers? Well, they are certainly a much better team today than they were yesterday and with the other moves made this summer they are miles better than the team they ended the season with. Are they a playoff team this year? If Henrik Lundqvist is healthy and good and Alex Georgiev continues his development/Igor Shesterkin is the real deal, then I think they will be in the mix for a wild card spot. They are still in a very tough division and the defense needs to be much tighter but with the influx in talent a lot of those close games that the Rangers lost or went to OT with last season might start turning to wins. Panarin and Trouba make the Rangers better in the short term but the Rangers still also have a long-term view on things. Kravtsov, Kakko and Fox are rookies, Chytil, Howden and Andersson are all going into their second years and while the rebuild has sped up, it’s by no means finished or fully developed. I think the Rangers may still be a year or two away from becoming playoff locks but things can change quickly and if the Rangers get the goaltending they could very well return to the playoffs.