Blue Jackets in difficult spot with Panarin, Bobrovsky

Futures remains uncertain for Panarin and Bobrovsky

The uncertain futures of Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. remain a hot topic in the NHL rumor mill. Both are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer and neither seems likely to re-up in Columbus.

Panarin’s reluctance to sign a contract extension with the Jackets has been well known for several months. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes the 26-year-old left wing could emulate “John Tavares’s free-agent setup.” In other words, he’ll meet with several interested clubs during the free-agent interview period in late-June before deciding which one he’ll sign with.

The Jackets could shop Panarin to the highest bidder if they fall out of playoff contention before next February’s NHL trade deadline. If he’s not under contract by then, however, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun suggests it could affect his trade value. He also thinks that Panarin hopes to eventually land with a big-market team, either in New York, Tampa Bay or Los Angeles.

 

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