9:16AM: Larry Brooks tweets that $12 million seems to be what Panarin is targeting. (Larry Brooks)
8:59AM: Panarin is reportedly mulling seven-year offers from both the Islanders and Rangers. (The Athletic)
8:51AM: The Rangers have not been told they are out on Panarin but he has higher offers from other teams. (Larry Brooks)
7:56AM: Aaron Portzline tweets that Panarin didn’t accept the Columbus offer of eight-years and around $96 million and that both the Islanders and Rangers are in play for him.
7:38AM: Darren Dreger tweets that there is still “uncertainty” on Panarin and that while the Isles tried to acquire his rights last night to offer him an eighth-year the Rangers “aren’t out of the fight yet.”
7:30AM: The Free Agency window opens at 12PM ET today and the Rangers will have just over $18 million in cap space.
As of last night: Artemi Panarin, long considered to be a target of the Rangers, was possibly choosing between the Islanders and Rangers.
The first buy out period ended on Sunday with the Rangers not participating despite speculation that Brendan Smith and/or Kevin Shattenkirk could have been bought out.
The Rangers enter July 1 with the following RFAs to sign: Jacob Trouba, Brendan Lemieux, Tony DeAngelo, Pavel Buchnevich, Vinni Lettieri
Larry Brooks wrote in the NY Post that the Rangers are telling agents that they are not looking to sign “support players” to anything longer than two-year contracts. (NY Post)
He adds that the Rangers are “intrigued” at the possibility of Brian Boyle returning though he is expected to receive “several offers.” (NY Post)
Adam Rotter: This may be the second-year in a row where the Rangers are low-key on July 1 but part of that has to do with what they did on April 30 (Adam Fox), May 2nd (Vitali Kravtsov and Igor Shesterkin), June 17th (Jacob Trouba) and June 21st (Kaapo Kakko). Most teams would love to add a potential top-pairing defenseman and two potential top-six forwards in early July but the Rangers did all of that weeks ago. So while most other teams make big moves over the next few days, they are just catching up to what the Rangers have already done.
There are still things to come with the Rangers, most notably what they finally decide to do with Chris Kreider and, to lesser extents, Jimmy Vesey and Vlad Namestnikov. Expectations are still that something will happen on defense, but there isn’t really a timetable on that. Some depth moves are also likely, especially with potential AHL help, but for the most part the Rangers are continuing on with their rebuild and the hope that they have continued development from the players already on the roster.
As for Artemi Panarin, we will just have to wait and see. He’d be a terrific addition to the Rangers but he isn’t without some risk. Most of that risk exists off the ice and with committing $12 million plus to a player while the Rangers are still rebuilding. It shouldn’t matter if he ends up with the Islanders and the Rangers shouldn’t go above their price just to prevent him from going there.