Panarin (Getty Images)

Rangers ready to shift focus on Artemi Panarin

Panarin (Getty Images)

Trouba down, Panarin to go.

The John Davidson and Jeff Gorton era got off to a great start when they landed priority one target, Jacob Trouba Monday night. Now the focus shifts to landing a bonafide offensive superstar up front, Artemi Panarin.

Yesterday, Darren Dreger of TSN said on Sirius XM NHL Radio that the Rangers were aggressively in on Trouba and he felt that Panarin will likely end up on Broadway. Later in the day, Trouba was a Ranger.

So now the Rangers prepare for the NHL Entry draft with one eye on free agency. Panarin is going to cost the Blueshirts a 7 year deal and between $11M and $12.5M per season. It will also likely be a front loaded contract that is lockout proof and come with a limited no move clause.

“There’s a lot of things we’re looking at and want to do, and certainly this is a big one,” Gorton said of acquiring Trouba. “When we’re out there trying to improve our team, we’re looking for players that will fit into what we’re doing, and the age is a big part of it. Obviously they have to be good players. But the age of 25, really coming into his prime, and the different amount of things that Jacob can provide for us, this helps us a lot. It just felt like this was a player that’s going to be with us for a while through it all. That’s the biggest reason why we felt comfortable moving off of No. 20 there.”

Gorton on NHL.com

Based on what Jeff Gorton said above, is Artemi Panarin a fit in what the Rangers are doing? The answer is a resounding yes. As it currently stands the lineup has a star center in Mika Zibanejad and a solid winger in Chris Kreider. The rest of the lineup is filled with young promising prospects and some questions marks.

The 27 year old winger is coming off an 87 point campaign on an average offensive team. He is the type of player the opposition needs to try and shutdown. His addition immediately will take pressure off two promising rookies, Vitali Kravtsov and Kaapo Kakko (or Jack Hughes). These type of offensive stars don’t grow on trees and take time to develop.

Of course, the Rangers have a projected cap space of $19M but once they sign Trouba to the tune of about $8M that will come down to $11M. Let’s not forget that they will need to sign RFA’s Pavel Buchnevich, Anthony DeAngelo, and Brendan Lemieux. At this point there just isn’t enough money to do it all.

What do we know? First off, the Rangers aren’t done improving this team and there are reports that they are shopping Jimmy Vesey and there is a great deal of uncertainty on Chris Kreider. The Rangers are also overloaded on the right side of the defense and that likely spells the end of Kevin Shattenkirk as a Ranger. Two other players Gorton cam move are Vlad Namestnikov and Ryan Strome. If the Rangers can offload these salaries in trades, they should be able to add Panarin and keep all their RFA’s.

The other thing to keep an eye out for is a buyout. On June 15th the window to buyout players opened. Many predicted the Rangers would immediately buy out Brendan Smith and that rightfully didn’t happen. Why create cap space and take a penalty for 3 years if you don’t use it. Now the acquisition of Trouba changes that view.

If the Rangers talk with Panarin on June 23rd, when the window to talk to UFA’s opens, and they buyout Smith or maybe someone else, then you know Jeff Gorton is going all-in on Panarin come July 1st.

Still, there is another looming concern and that is what the cap ceiling will be. Many expected it to jump to $83M but that appears to be in jeopardy. Does that hurt or help the Rangers? My immediate reaction is that it would help the Rangers if they came in lower because it would take some other teams out of the running and force them to look at lesser players on the open market. This could drive down the cost of Panarin by a little as well.

The bottom line is this, if the Rangers have their sights completely focused on Panarin you can expect JD and JG to get their man.

21 thoughts on “Rangers ready to shift focus on Artemi Panarin

  • June 18, 2019 at 4:01 pm
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    I don’t think Smith is as big a lock to go as most do.Quinn praised him a lot last year for the way he bought into the system,playing well bouncing back and forth from D and LW and the way he mentored many of the younger guys.They’re going to be a very young team ans his flexibility and mentoring will be needed.Gorton’s on a roll.he might even turn Shitts into a pick and then buyout Staal.

    • June 18, 2019 at 4:49 pm
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      I think Gorts will try to trade shattenkik , before the draft , and pick up a draft choice and probably part of his salary for two years
      – I also agree that with Staal but mostly likely Smith will be bought out as well !
      Leaves room for Fox , Hajek and possibly Lindgren or Rykov .

      If the Rangers select Kaapo at 2 , I expect the Rangers will trade UFAs Kreider , Namestnikov and Vesey and sign RFA Lemieux & Buchnevich ( unless Kreider decides to agree to a home team discount ??)

      If the Rangers select Hughes at 2 , I expect the Rangers will trade Strome.

      With the addition of Kravtsov , I still believe the Rangers will keep RW Fast minimally until trade deadline next year

      Securing Panarin along with Kravtsov and Kappo would assure that most all members of 2020 Rangers UFA class would be traded ( with the exception of Fast kept til trade deadline and Kreider if he agrees to a home team discount )

      – the Rangers would need to clear cap space and make room for the younger players to get requisite ice time

      The winners ( in terms of remaining with the team ) if Panarin , is signed Are Anderson.Buchnevich , Lemieux and Chytil .

      Radically different looking team next year with the changes above

      • June 18, 2019 at 6:21 pm
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        Don’t get ahead of yourself.You’ve got the roster trimmed to 21 before camp.Why would Fast be going anywhere? Power forwards with speed like Kreider don’t grow on trees and with a winger like Kakko or Kravtsov on the right will give more room than in the past.Mariner -No way.They’re not giving up 4 picks for him.even the buyouts,any of them,are still a last resort.Can’t just ramrod changes-they need to be justified with more than scouting projections.That’s all we have right now…

      • June 18, 2019 at 8:28 pm
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        Where is Howden? why trade Strome? He’s 25…What has Lias done?

  • June 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm
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    Oh, so every column Larry Brooks writes is subject of a recap here except when it’s Lundqvist Should Accept a Trade to SJ. Lol.

    Then, crickets. Lame dudes. Thats the starting goaltender Brooks is saying should accept a trade. The alll+time Ranger great!!

    The face of the franchise!!!!

    Like it never happened. Got it.

    • June 18, 2019 at 5:46 pm
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      Is this the same Larry Brooks that this time last year write an article advocating Skjei for Lucic in which the Oilers would throw in Draisaitl? Oh yeah it is.

      Come on LGR2019 you are better than that… we all know you don’t want Hank on this team.

    • June 18, 2019 at 6:36 pm
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      Brooks was just the mouthpiece my brother. Just a message boy. Not condoning it, but it’s all a game.

      • June 18, 2019 at 6:46 pm
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        Of course, Joe.

        I want to know why it never appeared here. Pretty extraordinary piece in the context of NYR/Queen Latifah.

    • June 19, 2019 at 3:24 pm
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      They won’t trade Hank… the only time the face of the franchise gets traded is when they play the blue line and wear #2.. Park.. Leetch…

      • June 20, 2019 at 12:32 pm
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        They can’t trade Henrik because Lundqvist has a no-trade clause with the Rangers. They won’t be getting rid of Hank.

  • June 18, 2019 at 7:09 pm
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    All you Rangaas fans will be crying in your blue shirts when Panarin signs with the Panthers along with his bud Bob..you have 2 chances of landing Panerin..slim and none

    • June 18, 2019 at 8:57 pm
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      Then we keep Kreider

      • June 18, 2019 at 9:13 pm
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        I continue to mostly believe Panarin is a bluff. And we want RNH and no.8 to draft Caufield, which is absolutely what I’d do if possible and avoid Panarin.

        Mikey, Brooks story today, MSG replaying Esmeralda’s rookie win tonight.
        The longest goodbye has finally begun?

        Here’s praying it’s over by Friday.

        It shoulda been over in 2013.

        And yeah, great job ignoring it FB LOL.

        • June 18, 2019 at 9:32 pm
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          hahahaha Esmerelda

      • June 18, 2019 at 9:17 pm
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        And of course, resign Chris Kreider .

        And btw Nick Kypreos just said he thinks we’re not in on Panarin.

        • June 18, 2019 at 9:28 pm
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          Lol Lol…then maybe sign Ferland or offer sheet Marner or Pointe

    • June 18, 2019 at 10:12 pm
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      Hope you and your other 49 Panther fans enjoy them. Florida is the type of team players go to have their careers become irrelevant.

    • June 19, 2019 at 6:52 am
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      Even if Panarin goes to FL, what’s he going to do that hurts the Rangers consistently there? Nothing. He will simply become Steven Stamkos/NIkita Kucherov ‘s buttwipe.

  • June 18, 2019 at 9:37 pm
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    They don’t have to buy out anyone during the first buyout period.

  • June 20, 2019 at 7:05 am
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    I like Panarin, but I would also look at Duchene. A 1-2 punch of Zib and Duch is quite a duo at C. With Kakko, Krav, Buch and Kreider on the wings that is a nice top 6. Add in Howden, Andersson, Strome, and Chytil in the bottom 6 and you are really onto something.

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