Despite the reports surrounding Artemi Panarin’s desire to test free agency and likely leave the Columbus Blue Jackets, he doesn’t deserve the Jeff Carter treatment regardless of how he departs.
Jeff Carter is one of the most hated players in Columbus Blue Jackets history and it’s starting to seem Artemi Panarin might get the same treatment, despite his commitment to the team while he’s here. Panarin isn’t demanding out of Columbus, instead he’s playing his heart out every night and still producing to the highest level on the team.
He’s simply using his right to test free agency and make a life decision, which may be difficult choice for fans and Panarin himself, but he’s simply going to go over all his options for the foreseeable future in his life.
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It’s difficult to see a player leave, especially when they’re at the talent level of Panarin. However, he doesn’t really owe the Blue Jackets anything considering how he ended up on the team. He wasn’t a draft pick who was given an opportunity by the Jackets, he wasn’t even an undrafted signing for the Jackets.
He was acquired in a trade from one of the United States’ most well-known cities and went to a city he likely didn’t know much about. Columbus is a great city, but it’s not a great fit for everyone. Especially, seemingly, someone like Artemi Panarin.
Panarin grew up in a relatively small town in Russia and as a result, it would make sense if he’s looking to live the “big-city” life he’d get in Florida or New York. That’s likely a big part of the reason he signed in Chicago, he made the decision that’s where he wanted to be when he came to the NHL.
While it’ll hurt to lose Artemi Panarin, he’s not trying to insult Columbus, the Columbus Blue Jackets or their fans by testing free agency. He simply wants to make a life decision after looking at all his options, which pretty much anyone would do with their job given the opportunity.