Artemi Panarin has made it clear: the Columbus Blue Jackets star forward wants to go out this summer and test the free agency market. However, there is another market to worry about first, and that is the trade one.
However, it seems like the price tag on Panarin is so expensive that teams, who were interested in adding the Russian sniper to their crew ahead of a playoff run, are running away with sticker shock.
According to Pierre LeBrun, who gave an update on the Panarin situation in Thursday's edition of Insider Trading on TSN, the Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators might have decided to drop the idea of landing the Jackets forward ahead of the trade deadline, seeing that the asking return would be astronomical.
He suggests they wait closer to the deadline if they're really interested in adding him to their roster.
"The market is not where the contenders want it to be right now. A lot of the contending teams are frustrated by the high prices right now that are attached to some of the bigger rental names. In particular, my sense is that Nashville and Boston checked in on Artemi Panarin in Columbus and had a bit of sticker shock when they found out how much it’s going to take to pry him out of there this early in the process. We’re still two-and-half weeks out from the deadline, and I think as time goes on, the price should go down; especially if Stone or Duchene are added to the trade market next week. To me, those two guys would change the landscape big time. I think the contenders have to be patient."
On Thursday, Bruins insider Fluto Shinzawa of the Athletic revealed how much it would cost Boston to acquire Panarin and it's a doozy. He notes that Boston would need to give up three pieces — their 2019 first-round pick and two prospects (a high-end kid and a secondary youngster). We're talking Trent Frederic, Jake DeBrusk or Ryan Donato here...
Can you imagine the Bruins parting with this much, knowing full well that Panarin could simply up and leave in the summer to test the free agency market? The Russian forward knows all too well he can get big money, like John Tavares did last summer, as a free agent, and so it seems like the Bruins would be mad to pull the trigger on this move.
For now, it seems like this is a major case of sticker shock, not just for the Bruins, but also for the Predators, who are believed to be in the market for more in the wake of acquiring checking-line forwards Brian Boyle and Cody McLeod.
However, for now, both teams are putting a blockbuster trade for Panarin on hold...