The New York Islanders are continuously linked to Artemi Panarin. But some fans aren’t totally onboard because they see Panarin as a rental. After the Thomas Vanek affair, who can blame them?
With the New York Islanders being linked to Columbus Blue Jackets star Artemi Panarin we can’t stop thinking of ways to get him to the Island. I know we at Eyes on Isles have written a number of pieces regarding the Russian forward.
Typically the response from readers and other New York Islanders fans is positive in bringing in a player that scored 82 points in 2017-18 and was ranked seventh in points over the last three years.
But some are a little skeptical in bringing in a player on the last year of his contract. The last time the Islanders brought in a big name player on the last year of his contract was Thomas Vanek. And that didn’t go well.
At the start of the 2013-14 season, the New York Islanders acquired Thomas Vanek for Matt Moulson, a first round pick in 2014 (or 2015), and a second-round pick in 2014. The Isles were finally getting that winger that John Tavares had needed ever since he arrived.
Vanek had the season to play out his deal before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer. Garth Snow must have thought he could have signed Vanek after playing alongside Tavares and Kyle Okposo.
Vanek admitted that playing with Tavares and Okposo was the best time he’s had in his career. But what Garth didn’t factor was how much the impending move to Brooklyn was going to affect the desirability of his franchise to the Austrian winger.
Not even a reported seven-year $50 million contract ($7.14 million AAV) was going to be enough to keep Vanek with the Islanders. To put that in perspective, Vanek would sign a three-year $19.5 million deal ($6.5 million AAV) with the Minnesota Wild in free agency that summer.
The New York Islanders weren’t a destination for players then, and they aren’t that much more of a destination now. They haven’t won anything since 2013-14 that should make them more desirable. So I get fans skepticism with bringing in Panarin on an expiring deal.
But with all that being said, Garth Snow isn’t the one calling the shots anymore. It’s Lou Lamoriello if you think that any trade for Artemi Panarin doesn’t include any sort of signing guarantee like Pacioretty had to give to the Vegas Golden Knights, you’re sorely mistaken.
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I get the skepticism around Artemi Panarin. But if the New York Islanders acquire the player with the seventh best points total in the last three years, it won’t be a rental. He’ll be here on a longterm deal. This won’t be Vanek 2.0.