The Artemi Panarin is supposedly down to just three teams and the New York Islanders are on that list according to Pierre LeBrun.
The biggest free agent on the market, without question, is 27-year-old Artemi Panarin. According to Pierre LeBrun, of TSN, it is believed to be down to three teams and the New York Islanders are one of those teams.
LeBrun believes it will be between the Florida Panther, New York Rangers, and the Islanders to land Panarin. Florida has been a rumor for a while, being able to take on both Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky.
While the Rangers wouldn’t be able to take Bobrovsky as well, they have been mentioned in the Panarin sweepstakes for a very long time. The Rangers have $17 million of cap space at the moment, but would likely have to allocate $7 million or more to Jacob Trouba.
That might make it tough to work something out but I’m sure the Rangers would get creative in order to get both in and under the cap.
The Panthers have $20.48 million in cap room right now and don’t have anyone worthy of a big cap hit to pay, them being in play makes a lot of sense. The Islanders have the most cap space out of the three teams and are the only one of the three to be a playoff team last year, which is a major plus on the Islanders side.
Panarin could make an immediate impact on the Islanders top-six. Last year in 79 games, Panarin put up 87 points (28 goals, 59 assists) and hasn’t gotten below 74 points in his four year NHL career.
Locking yourself into a seven-year deal with a huge price tag is usually risky but with someone as talented as Artemi Panarin, it would 100 percent be worth it. Putting Panarin on a line with Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle would instantly make for one of the most potent lines in the sport.
Barzal and Panarin are point per game level players and Eberle could easily eclipse 60 points with those two, that’s one hell of a unit.
If Panarin and Bobrovsky are a package, the Islanders could make that work too. Obviously, I would rather bring back Lehner because he would cost less, is younger, and coming off a better season but if it comes down to Panarin and Bobrovsky or Lehner and (a Dzingel like free agency move) I’m going with the former every time.
The Islanders have been “interested” in players dating back to the deadline. Eventually, “interested” has to become “acquired”.