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Report: New “stealth” team emerges in Panarin trade talks

This would blow things WIDE open!

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We’re less than a week away from a resolution in the Artemi Panarin situation. The Columbus Blue Jackets sniper is set to hit the open market as a free agent this upcoming offseason, but it’s expected that Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen will trade his superstar player before Monday’s trade deadline.

Over the past few weeks reports have indicated that the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders have emerged as frontrunners in trade talks, but NHL insider Elliotte Friedman floated another potential “stealth” candidate to acquire Panarin ahead of the deadline: The Dallas Stars.

Check out this little tidbit of info from Friedman’s latest 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet: 

Stealth team for Artemi Panarin: Dallas. The Stars have also checked in on Mats Zuccarello.

Interesting. There’s certainly no doubt that Panarin would add a much needed boost to the Stars’ offence. With Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alex Radulov already holding down spots up front, adding a player with Panarin’s skill set could potentially get this team back in the playoff mix. Then again… the Stars could lay out HUGE assets for Panarin in a trade only to miss the playoffs and watch him walk away via free agency. That would be a tough pill to swallow… 

As it is, the Stars are currently four points up on the Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks in Wild Card standings and four points back of the St. Louis Blues in Central Division standings. Worth the risk?