What comes after the Rangers and Panarin meeting
Artemi Panarin and his agent, Paul Theofanous likely met with the Rangers brass yesterday at Madison Square Garden. This is a meeting that was in the making since early this past season and made definite the moment Panarin declared he would become a free agent.
The Rangers assuredly pulled out all the stops in order to impress the 27 year old offensive dynamo. A leaked photo from inside MSG shows Artemi Panarin in a Rangers sweater as if he were being announced in the starting lineup on game night. I’m sure the fact that it has Panarin as a left handed shot didn’t offend the righty, who probably chuckled when he saw it.
The purpose of the meeting is so that the two sides are able to better understand what they are looking for. Now fans and experts can start looking for signals from the Rangers.
The first window to buyout players closes on June 30th, the day before the free agent market opens. If the Rangers do exercise this option on a player like Brendan Smith, that is a big red flag that they will make a run at Panarin.
Who Is The Favorite?
Panarin will be looking for the max years (7), a no move clause, and at least $11M on his next contract. Right now the insiders have Florida, and both NY teams as three possible landing spots, with the Panthers as the favorite.
Yesterday, 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.
So with that said, as of right now I am putting the odds on Panarin signing with the Rangers at 50/50. Those odds will improve if he doesn’t sign with the Panthers within an hour of free agency opening at 12PM on July 1st.