Ignore the odds, the Rangers aren’t long shots to land Panarin

Artemi Panarin and the New York Rangers met Wednesday to discuss their mutual interest in each other. And while the odds makers say that the Panthers are the favorites and the insiders are somewhat dismissing the Blueshirts, I’m not getting that sense at all.

Right now we have plenty of speculation from random folks on Twitter to insiders like Elliotte Friedman on NHL Network. On Thursday night Friedman said, “Florida are probably the favorites, but I do think the Islanders are going to be real players.” Not even a mention about the Rangers.

That was followed later by Darren Dreger verifying that Panarin was in NY yesterday and could be meeting with the Devils. When all was said and done he all but eliminated the Rangers too.

So are the Rangers done? Are they out of the mix? Starting from what I wrote on Wednesday night I don’t think so.

I spoke with a reporter who has been covering Panarin very closely. Our discussion centered around how for almost a year, insiders had him pegged for the Rangers until late this season. When you look at the timeline, Florida wasn’t even a consideration until Panarin switched agents before the trade deadline. – Forever Blueshirts

Today I’ve been in touch with various sources trying to get any feedback I can. One person that was at the Garden said the meeting took place in the late afternoon and heard it went very well.

Another source I spoke with closer to the situation indicated that any speculation that Florida is a favorite or that the Rangers are out of it should be considered just that, speculation. That’s when I was directed to remember the John Tavares situation from last season. If you recall, no one knew for sure where he was going until he signed with Toronto.

So while I said that I felt it was 50/50 yesterday, I am now leaning towards the Rangers having a slight edge in signing Panarin on Monday. This is a player who played in a big market like Chicago to a small one in Columbus. The rumors have said that he wants to win and play in a big city.

What bigger market is there than New York? How can he ignore what the Rangers are doing with the additions of Jacob Trouba and three star rookies in Kaapo Kakko, Vitali Kravtsov, and Adam Fox? And how do we ignore reports like these as if they didn’t exist.

According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, the feeling around the NHL is that Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin wants to play for the Rangers.

Forever Blueshirts August 2018

Listen, when all is said and done he could very well sign with the Florida Panthers and stay with his best friend Sergei Bobrovsky. Or maybe the Islanders do the unthinkable and give him $13M a year? Just realize, as easy as it is to see those outcomes, it is just as simple to see him donning a Rangers sweater at the World’s Most Famous Arena.

Bottom line, the Rangers aren’t long shots and could be a slight favorite. If you start seeing the Blueshirts making some moves over the next few days, especially a buyout, take that as a good sign to increase their odds.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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