Imagine a line of Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Artemi Panarin.
While that trio would do some major damage on the ice, it would certainly also do some major damage against the cap.
Trade deadline season always brings about some intriguing rumours in the hockey world. There is plenty of speculation of where Columbus Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin will end up.
Panarin will be a UFA at the end of 2018-19 and has gone on the record saying he wants to test the free agent market.
“I want to see what happens in the summer, and if I have better options,” Panarin said, according to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline. “I’m ready for that situation. I know in the summer how hard that will be for me. I’m ready. Still positive.”
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Vancouver could be a potential landing spot for the 27-year-old Russian forward in free agency.
In the Trade Deadline episode of the Bobcast, McKenzie states that it’s his understanding that Vancouver and Toronto are the only two potential Canadian cities Panarin would go to in free agency.
McKenzie believes Canada is mainly a “no-fly” zone for Panarin, but Vancouver and Toronto are the two exceptions. He then rules out Toronto for obvious reasons due to the money he’s going to want.
McKenzie makes it clear that Canada isn’t a likely landing spot for Panarin compared to some of the bigger American cities, but if the Russian forward were to pursue that route, it would be either Vancouver or Toronto. McKenzie cites the size of those two cities and what they embody as reasons why they appeal to Panarin.
It’s pretty obvious that if Panarin were to be dealt before Monday’s NHL Trade Deadline, Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekäläinen would need to be getting back a very significant return. It’s highly unlikely Vancouver would make a trade or even be able to make a trade for Panarin in the coming days. This speculation is purely based on the assumption of Panarin going to free agency.
Panarin is a special player with ridiculous skill. He’s also going to want big money and a multi-year deal. Considering the future contracts for Boeser and Pettersson, it’s hard to imagine GM Jim Benning locking up a very significant amount of money in three offensive juggernauts.
There’s certainly no denying that Vancouver could use an Artemi Panarin type, especially when you consider the lacking left side for the Canucks. Panarin is a left winger and would provide a major upgrade to a team currently deploying Josh Leivo, Ryan Spooner, Antoine Roussel and Loui Eriksson on that wing.
Players like Panarin don’t come along very often. He’s a point-per-game scorer through 300 NHL games and can be a difference maker whenever he’s on the ice. His current contract carries an AAV of $6M and he’s going to be looking to cash in on another very productive year.
With Matt Duchene headed to Columbus, it appears the Blue Jackets may keep Panarin this season for a hopeful playoff run and let him test his options on July 1st.
Unless a team really steps up, CBJ content to keep Panarin and go for it. https://t.co/aSARH7ellQ
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 22, 2019
As McKenzie stated on the podcast, Panarin to Vancouver is unlikely, but it’s certainly not out of the question if the Canucks want to make a splash in free agency.