MacKinnon tried to lure Panarin to the Avalanche, believes he should win Hart Trophy

Artemi Panarin was the most sought after unrestricted free agent to hit the market in years. The entire league understood he was a game breaker and team maker. Before he signed with the New York Rangers, the Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche were among the most mentioned teams in the hunt.

Superstar Recruiting

In a recent radio interview, Avs superstar, Nathan MacKinnon opened up on how he tried to lure Artemi Panarin to Colorado. It went so far as to even offering his spot on the PP.

MacKinnon said Tuesday said on TSN 1050’s “Overdrive” that he tried to recruit Panarin to the Colorado Avalanche last summer before he eventually chose to go to the Big Apple. MacKinnon tried to sell him on the idea he wouldn’t have to be “the man” every night, and he even offered Panarin his spot on the power play.

The Score
Panarin (Getty Images)

MVP Honors

MacKinnon who finished this shortened season with 93 points, two less than Panarin is in the mix for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. However if you ask him, he knows who should win it.

“I knew he was a free agent so I was kind of watching him with Columbus. What an amazing player,” MacKinnon said. “And then I watched him all season – just from talking to him, really nice guy, so maybe I’m a little biased with that – but that’s why I think he should win the Hart this year.”

The Score

The majority of hockey experts believe that Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl will take home the honors. Draisaitl put up 110 points and was the only player at the pause to break the century mark. Of course, the award is not all about points but importance to team. Draisaitl plays with Connor McDavid and while Panarin has talent like Mika Zibanejad around him, it’s undeniable that he was the MVP of the Rangers this season.