LW Artemi Panarin seems to not enjoy Columbus at all for some reason. Maybe he gets bored in Ohio, lord knows Lebron did (not once, but twice LOL). But maybe, he just sees a bigger market ahead of him. He had a meeting this morning with the GM of the Blue Jackets, Jarmo Kekalainen, in France, letting him know that he is not ready to commit to Columbus long term. This has instantly made many speculate that Panarin will be the third star to get put on the trade block this offseason. And what may be even bigger news are the teams who have interest in the star forward. The Dallas Stars, who have swung a missed-on John Tavares, look like they could miss again on Erik Karlsson, meaning this leads them to Panarin. The other two are clearly the more enticing ones. The Bruins, who I pitched to try and acquire him just last week, but he would need to commit to signing long-term, and Panarin’s former team where he broke out being lined with Patty Kane, the Chicago Blackhawks.
What is so enticing about LW Artemi Panarin is the fact that he gets better every single season. A lot of people thought he would be nothing, or at least a shell of himself once he was traded to the Blue Jackets just last off season by the Blackhawks and he would be leaving Patrick Kane. Well were people wrong or what? Panarin out up a career high in points with 82, including his career high in assists as well with 55. Panarin flourished yet another season in the NHL, never scoring less than 70 points in his career. He is the best offensive weapon on the table at this moment, and regardless if you get him for even just one season, he upgrades a team in a huge way. So why not we take a look at the three teams who have shown interest at this time.
The Stars have been wanting to make a big move all offseason, making the Dallas faithful wonder if they are worrying too much about someone that isn’t on their team rather than someone who is the star of their team in Tyler Seguin. Seguin is bound for a big-time contract extension this season so that they do not lose him like the Islanders lost Tavares. However, if they were able to add someone like Panarin or Karlsson, their team would become an offensive force. While Karlsson seems to be on his way somewhere else, the Panarin sweepstakes is just about to begin. They have some pieces that the Blue Jackets may find appealing, especially because they may just want to get something rather than lose Panarin for nothing. I feel they may have the least chance to get him depending what the Stars may ask for.
I have brought the idea to the table of possibly sending Torey Krug out of Boston for the opportunity to bring in a player like Panarin. The Bruins have been relatively quiet this offseason, besides signing a few 4th line players and signing lefty defenseman John Moore to a five-year contract. Signing another lefty d-man plus having Matt Grzelcyk being the player who can become Krug, being a smaller left defenseman who is offensive minded like Krug. And for years, it has felt like getting Krejci another two consistent line partners is a must, and with Debrusk already rostered and showing huge signs last season, if they were able to add Panarin, they again would have two fantastic lines and a third and fourth who can do what they do. I am a big advocate for getting Panarin here as soon as possible, as he would not only become one of our best players but give us a chance to be one of the top teams in the entire National Hockey League. Krug should be the main piece of any package for Panarin, however they would be his second choice in my mind, considering an old friend of his has been reported to be pretty close.
Oh, how the leader fell this past season. They went unique, poorly last offseason. They thought if they brought back some old friends they could find that magic that propelled them to three championships in 2010, 2013, and 2015. They brought back Patrick Sharp, who was a pure shell of himself, while they traded Panarin for old friend Brandon Saad. While Saad started the season off hot, he stunk the rest of it. So bad, sooo bad. He scored 35 points in 82 games. That is beyond bad, after averaging around 50 points in the previous three seasons. Now reports are raining in that the Blackhawks may be close on a deal to get Panarin back, and not only get him back, but sign him to the extension they dreaded just a season ago. They realized that too much change can completely alter a team, and with Corey Crawford missing most of the season as well, the results were worrisome. If they Blackhawks were able to reacquire Artemi Panarin, they would not only rewrite a wrong, but also improve their team, as only Patrick Kane reached expectations last season. Panarin’s best trade would be back to where we learned his name.
There you have it, Panarin is very unlikely to dawn a Columbus Blue Jacket uniform next season, and I truly believe that he will not be going anywhere else besides one of these three teams.
What do you all thin? Where do you see Panarin going? Dallas, Boston, Chicago, or somewhere completely different? Regardless…
Let me know!!!
– Scott Edwards, Creator of WTF Sports