The trade deadline is right around the corner and the Panarin saga lingers on. Panarin’s desire to head to free agency has prompted the Columbus Blue Jackets to investigate trading the star winger.
While the Columbus Blue Jackets would like to keep him for a playoff run, the organization cannot afford to lose their star forward for nothing come July 1st. If the Blue Jackets do in fact trade Artemi Panarin, they would require something that could help them this season (for their playoff push) and in the future. Ideally, they would like to receive a top prospect, a young (under contract) roster player, and a 1st round draft pick in exchange for Panarin. Is this reasonable?
Panarin is a top 25 talent in the NHL, so this would certainly seems like fair value. The question is will the Blue Jackets receive such a haul? That’s not likely.
More from Union and Blue
- Blaming Columbus Blue Jacket Players for Babcock Fallout is Unfair
- The Mike Babcock Experiment in Columbus Has Failed
- Blue Jacket Prospects Win Traverse City Tournament: Who Stood Out?
- Mike Babcock Resigns as CBJ Head Coach: Reaction
- New Claims Bring Higher Level of Concern to Babcock Situation
If the Columbus Blue Jackets were looking to trade a signed Panarin, then the return would likely be at or above the mentioned return. But teams are leery to give up so much for a rental player, especially one who is unwilling to talk about a contract until the summer. Teams know the bind the CBJ are in and GM’s in the NHL are not sympathetic to each other, so no bones will be thrown Jarmo’s way.
To a contender, a rental player like Panarin is very valuable. It bolsters their chances of the winning the cup and keeps a star forward off of another contenders roster. Teams like Nashville, Boston, Tampa Bay, Winnipeg, and Toronto seem like good destinations for Panarin. These teams would likely have the most to offer the Blue Jackets in a trade. They are in “win-now” mode and could place all their chips in the Panarin basket to win the cup this season.
If these teams get into a bidding war, the return for Panarin will increase. But will they pay the premium for Panarin when other players can be had for cheaper? Probably not. The return from these teams will likely be a top draft pick and a top prospect (and maybe another prospect). That’s not terrible, but it doesn’t help the Blue Jackets this season unless they flip those pieces for another player. Maybe gaining assets and futures isn’t a bad thing.
In all seriousness, are the Blue Jackets serious contenders this season? The answer is no. They have struggled against teams with depth, especially down the middle of the ice (see Tampa). The Blue Jackets are a good team and a playoff team no doubt. But they are not a great team; at least not yet.
The Blue Jackets window to contend for a Stanley Cup has not quite opened yet. It would be wise to trade Panarin and continue to build the roster into a strong contender. The return for Panarin may not be what is desired from both the fans or CBJ management.
Regardless of the return, the Blue Jackets will have assets to draft top young players or to trade for good established players. It will be tough to swallow now, but moving Panarin is in the best interest of the Columbus Blue Jackets, regardless of the return.