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Artemi Panarin Signs With the New York Rangers

One of the biggest free agents in the market is now with a brand new team. The New York Rangers signed forward Artemi Panarin to a seven-year, $81.5 million contract ($11.46 million AAV). 

How the Rangers Won His Signature.

The Bread Man turned down offers from the Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers and New York Islanders. According to multiple reports, Panarin rejected Columbus’ last-minute monster offer of eight years, $96 million on Sunday night. Earlier in the season, he rejected an eight-year extension offer from Columbus and made it clear early in the season that he didn’t plan on being in Columbus long term. 

The Rangers are having a huge offseason gaining Jacob Trouba, Kaapo Kakko, Adam Fox and now Panarin in the lineup. With these additions, the Rangers showed that they completed the rebuilding process. With their current lineup and recent moves, expect them to be in the playoffs. The Rangers cleared up cap space by trading forward Jimmy Vesey to the Buffalo Sabres for a third-round pick. Pavel Buchnevich, Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Lemieux are all restricted free agents the Rangers like to sign. 

The Impact on Columbus

During the 2018-19 season, Panarin was in a lot of trade rumors after he turned down an eight-year extension offer from Columbus. He and Sergei Bobrovsky were the most talked about players during the 2019 trade deadline. But it turned out Columbus ended up being the buyers of the 2019 trade deadline by gaining Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel. Columbus surprised many people with these trades. They made a gamble and kept Panarin and Bobrovsky for the rest of the season.

Panarin: Profile

The 27-year-old Russian scored 87 points (29 goals, 59 assists) in 79 games in the 2018-19 season with the Columbus Blue Jackets. In the first round of the playoffs, he helped Columbus sweep the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning. It was the first time in franchise history that they won a playoff series. Columbus later lost in the second round against the Boston Bruins. Panarin finished the playoffs scoring 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 10 games. 

Panarin had a different route than a lot of NHL players. On April 29, 2015, he entered the NHL as an undrafted free agent, signing a two-year entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. In his rookie year, he won the Calder Trophy (top rookie), scoring 77 points (30 goals, 47 assists). In 322 games with the Blackhawks and Islanders, he scored 320 points (116 goals, 204 assists). 



Featured Image Credit: ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

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