While the New York Rangers had a very successful season, the team is at a bit of a crossroads with respect to its future.
GM Chris Drury has his work cut out for him in getting this team over the hump this offseason and heading into next season. He obviously has core pieces in place with Igor Shesterkin and Adam Fox, veteran leaders like Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and Miika Zibenajad and up and coming players like Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko, but Drury will need to dig deeper to add some depth to this team. And those top players have to come to play when it matters. As it is, Rangers insider Arthur Staple reports that Drury was "vocally unhappy" with Panarin's playoff performance in particular and that it could cause a rift between the GM and player.
However, two league sources said Drury was vocally unhappy about Panarin’s play in the postseason, when he had 16 points in 20 games but not the consistent impact anyone around the Rangers hoped for or needed. If there’s a rift, Panarin could ask out, as near-impossible as it would be to move this mammoth contract.
- Arthur Staple
For the record Panarin is making more than $11.6 million against the cap for the next four seasons, so.... yeah...
If Drury is indeed unhappy with Panarin he's going to have one Hell of a difficult time moving him in a trade. I imagine he'll just have to come to terms with the fact that Panarin ain't going anywhere anytime soon.