Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/28/18 at 09:17 AM ET
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Jackets were aware that they could lose Panarin as an unrestricted free agent in 2019. They made him comfortable, witnessed his on-ice magic and prepared to lock him up long term this summer.
Panarin demurred. He does not want to talk extension, not “at this time.” Rumor has it he would rather play in a large market, preferably near a beach — optimally in a place where there are no state taxes. Los Angeles, New York, Florida (Tampa Bay?) and Dallas have been floated as possibilities.
Panarin is within his rights to handle his pending free agency as he wishes. We can’t know exactly what he wants, but we must acknowledge he has all the leverage. Watch your knees.
There is a school of thought that says: If Panarin doesn’t want to be a Blue Jacket, then trade him, salvage what you can and get some Blue Jackets — and the sooner the better. The thing is, this isn’t Jeff Carter we’re talking about. Panarin is the most dynamic player the Jackets have ever had. He is not poison.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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