As the Feb. 25 trade deadline is fast approaching, any news raises tons of questions on potential tradeable players. And when something is new about the most coveted player on trade bait lists, you have to look into it.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have just announced that star Russian sniper Artemi Panarin will not be in the team's lineup for tonight's game against the Montreal Canadiens.
However, the team's public relations made sure to reveal that Panarin was out of the lineup due to an illness. He did make the trip with the rest of his teammates and the decision was made a few hours before the game.
Several fans were quick to make fun of the reason why Panarin will miss action, especially with all the trade chatter going on about the Russian forward. The Blue Jackets need to make a decision shortly on Panarin, seeing that he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and has already made it clear that he would prefer to test the free agency market. He also explained how he would prefer to play for a bigger hockey market, and revealed he had interest in New York or Los Angeles.
Many teams have been inquiring about Panarin, however, we are still waiting for the talented forward to be moved. Some insiders believe a trade could take place later on, closer to the summer, especially if the Jackets prefer to use Panarin as their own rental for the postseason.
One thing we know for sure, Panarin will stay out of tonight's lineup, however, trade chatter is not expected to quiet down before Monday...