Potential trade destinations for Artemi Panarin
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton recently listed the Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues as five possible destination for left wing Artemi Panarin, who is reportedly reluctant to re-sign a contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Clinton believes the Panthers can afford to re-sign Panarin, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He’d also be a good fit with a roster that also includes Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck. If GM Dale Tallon wants to get aggressive, Panarin is a no-brainer addition.
New York Rangers
The New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes the Rangers would be “all in” if Panarin hits the open market next summer. It stands to reason they could be very interested if the winger hits the trade block. With over $19 million in projected cap space, they can easily afford Panarin’s cap hit for ’18-’19 and for a new long-term contract extension.
New York Islanders
Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post believes Panarin should be at the top of Isles GM Lou Lamoriello’s wish list. Bringing him in would certainly help to offset the loss of Tavares’ offense and he could be a dream fit with young Barzal. They carry a projected $10.5 million for the upcoming season and over $32 million for 2019-20.
San Jose Sharks
The Sharks already loaded up when they went out and landed Evander Kane at the past trade deadline and subsequently signed him to a seven-year, $49-million deal, but San Jose actually has enough cap space to maybe make a Panarin acquisition work. The Sharks could have $22 million-plus in cap space next season, and the entire core is locked up for at least another four campaigns, aside from Joe Pavelski. Imagine a top-six with Panarin, Kane, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl. It would be absolutely lethal.
St. Louis Blues
It might seem completely unfeasible, but if the Blues want to spend big on their top six and beef it up with yet another high-scoring winger, shipping out some talent to bring in Panarin isn’t out of the question. Some money would have to be shuffled around to make it work this season, but with the contracts of Jay Bouwmeester, Carl Gunnarsson and Robert Bortuzzo coming off the books next summer and no big-name UFAs or RFAs needing raises, St. Louis projects to have more than $22 million to spend next summer. Financially, the only concern for the Blues would be ensuring there’s enough money left over to lock up Brayden Schenn and Alex Pietrangelo in two seasons’ time with Panarin’s potential big-money deal on the books.