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New York Islanders Target Artemi Panarin Sign with New York Rangers

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 5: Artemi Panarin #9 of the Columbus Blue Jackets warms up prior to the start of the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 5, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 5: Artemi Panarin #9 of the Columbus Blue Jackets warms up prior to the start of the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 5, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
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Artemi Panarin has signed with the New York Rangers. Now the New York Islanders have to head back to the drawing board.

It was a good few hours while it lasted, the New York Islanders were rumored to be the favored destination for UFA Artemi Panarin from 11 pm on Sunday till about 11 am Monday morning. But at the 11th hour, that favor changed to the New York Rangers.

Just before the free agency period officially opened, TSN’s Darren Dreger announced that Artemi Panarin was going to land with the Rangers.

What’s worse, is that he may have left money on the table to sign with the Rangers over the Islanders.

Strike Out, Again

It was reported that the New York Islanders were offering Artemi Panarin a deal worth somewhere between $12-12.5 million. The deal Panarin signed with the Rangers carries an AAV worth $11.642 million over seven years.

For the second year in a row, the New York Islanders have struck out on the biggest free agent in the market. First, it was John Tavares in 2018, and now it’s Artemi Panarin.

Not only does it suck to lose out on Artemi Panarin, but it also sucks that he moves to the Rangers of all teams. For the next seven years, the Islanders will come face-to-face with a player they just missed out on.

The Islanders now have to head back to the drawing board at the last minute to see what they can do in free agency. Anders Lee is likely gone, and now Artemi Panarin is out, Lou Lamoriello has to turn to plan C.

Can that plan include Mitch Marner? The RFA winger is still entertaining the notion of an offer sheet it seems. But with the cap hit he’ll likely command the four first rounders going back to Toronto as compensation could be too much for Lou to actually do.

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If not, there isn’t much left out on the market that the New York Islanders can try and acquire. Hopefully, we aren’t in for an updated version of last season’s bottom six parade.

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