Artemi Panarin and the New York Rangers met Wednesday to discuss their mutual interest in each other, however, the coveted free agent may not be coming to the Big Apple after all.
According to team insider Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the Rangers refuse to get into bidding war for Panarin’s services on Monday. While he is the most coveted free agent on the market and will command one heck of an annual salary, the Rangers know they have to draw the line.
“It is true that the best laid intentions sometimes go up in smoke when the bell rings, but we are told that if the Blueshirts extend Panarin an offer of seven years in the range of $11-11.25 million, they would not then increase their offer to match/exceed higher bids.”
However, we are pretty sure that $11.5 million per year, or so, for seven years, isn’t going to be enough.
While Panarin has yet to make his choice and can’t announce it before Monday, it seems like the two other options in the Florida Panthers and New York Islanders are more likely to happen. Both clubs could make it a free-agents package deal by signing Panarin and a Columbus teammate, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.
Since Roberto Luongo retired in Miami, there is an opening for Bobrovsky as well and we know they want to add fire power up front. As for the Islanders, we can’t never underestimate Lou Lamoriello and his love for a blockbuster move in the summer.
The Rangers might have done everything they can in yesterday’s meeting to sway Panarin to come and play in NYC, but they won’t blow their budget on him.
On top of that, the Rangers made a mistake as they attempted to impress Panarin on the MSG’s jumbotron. They photoshopped his head on a Rangers’ player’s body but didn’t do all the necessary research… Panarin is a right-handed shot but he’s shown on a lefties body.