The Columbus Blue Jackets have a pending unrestricted free agent in superstar Artemi Panarin.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have had a promising start to the season and one of the main reasons for that is Artemi Panarin. The Blue Jackets can’t afford to hand him a blank check this off-season though. While retaining Panarin would be huge, it isn’t necessary for long term success.
With his season off to a hot start, many fans are getting more and more anxious for him to sign a long term deal in Columbus.
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But with a hot start, his price also jumps above, in economic terms, “equilibrium”. Right now because of his hot start, his price is higher than it should be if he were to sign. The best bet would be to wait for the production to fade a bit and if he re-signs, the team should save a little money but likely not much.
According to Capfriendly, the pending free agents beside Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky will be Sonny Milano, Lukas Sedlak, Markus Hannikainen, Anthony Duclair, Ryan Murray, Zach Werenski, Adam Clendening, Joonas Korpisalo and Scott Harrington. In other words, if the Blue Jackets spend too much on Panarin they could lose a lot of young players.
If you spend over $10M a year on Artemi Panarin, it makes it difficult to re-sign any of the pieces you need for the long term. While it’s true that Panarin is the best player on the free agent list for the Blue Jackets, he’s not good enough to lead a team to the Stanley Cup with no depth.
Artemi Panarin won’t be the LeBron James equivalent for the Columbus Blue Jackets, it’s simply impossible for one player to carry a team by themselves in the NHL. Depth is just as important as having stars in the NHL. With the current corps of the Blue Jackets, the most important thing is preserving the future pieces rather than a single piece.