“The Jackets only found out, of course, a few days ago that (Panarin) would not entertain negotiating an extension, but within those couple of days I’m told several contenders already have reached out to Columbus to find out what’s going on, what the price might be, and get that conversation going,” LeBrun said.
On Monday, Panarin’s agent Dan Milstein released a statement saying the left winger would not discuss his future with the Blue Jackets until after the season.
Panarin will become an unrestricted free agent July 1, and while his value to the team is apparent, the Blue Jackets risk losing the superstar for nothing in the offseason if he remains with the team past the trade deadline.
Reports of Panarin’s unwillingness to sign an extension with Columbus first surfaced last June. It was then reported in August that the New York Rangers were his first choice, while the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Dallas Stars were also on Panarin’s list of preferred destinations.
The 27-year-old is once again leading the Blue Jackets in scoring this season, registering 20 goals and 57 points in 48 games.
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