Rangers Roundup: Panarin, Zuccarello, Hayes, and the rebuild

Panarin (Getty Images)

The latest rumors buzz around the NHL and Blueshirts.

Panarin in his own words

“I want to test free agency,” he told the Blue Jackets website Friday, speaking publicly for the first time since notifying Columbus on Jan. 25 that he would discuss his future after the season. “There is still a chance [I could re-sign with Columbus], but I want to see in the summer if I feel there are better options.” 

Panarin on NHL.com

Artemi Panarin is going to be a free agent. That’s it, there’s not much more to discuss on the subject. Of course, every reporter out there wants to interview him and find out exactly what that means.

Since the news broke that he switched agents and will opt for free agency, speculation that Columbus is looking to trade him now is rampant. Most of the teams looking at him are contenders trying to make a Cup run now. The Rangers are not in the running as we know since they could acquire him for money on July 1st.

While it has been widely rumored that Panarin yearns to play for the Rangers it isn’t a guarantee.

“Seriously, guys, I don’t have a team; I don’t have one team where I want to go. … We’ll see what happens in the summer, but right now I don’t know what I want. … I want to still [consider] this season and help the team win the Stanley Cup.”

Panarin on NHL.com

One thing is for sure. Until Panarin signs on the dotted line with some other team, the Rangers and their fans will be watching the opening bell of free agency closely this summer.

The 94 Rangers on Zuccarello, Hayes and the Rebuild

This has been a great weekend for fans of the Rangers. Especially those who witnessed the 1994 Cup run. Jon Lane of NHL.com spoke with some of them, including GM, Neil Smith and Head Coach, Mike Keenan about their thoughts on the deadline and the rebuild.

“The only way you can assure yourself of no success is to change your plan midstream,” said Neil Smith, former Rangers general manager. “They have to stick with the plan, and if that means not letting [Mats] Zuccarello and [Kevin] Hayes leave for nothing, then they better swallow hard and do what they have to do.”

Neil Smith

“If they’re looking to the future they should probably acquire something for their services if indeed it looks like they may walk out the door and get nothing for them,” Keenan said. “How instrumental are they in the locker room in terms of leadership and development and their ability to play, could it be part of the future? That’s going to be something the management group has to evaluate.”

Mike Keenan

“This is a business,” Anderson said. “If they can pick them up again and they can get draft choices for players like that … unless you’re taking a run at the Cup, it’s a business decision and a salary-cap decision at this point in time. If I were steering the ship, I would seriously be looking to see what I can get.”

Glenn Anderson

The sentiment appears to be the same throughout the organization. If you aren’t going to make the playoffs then you need to move pieces that you could lose for nothing anyway in order to improve.

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