Panarin Revives the Rangers

The free agent agreed to a seven-year, 81.5 million dollar contract with the New York Rangers

Panarin entered free agency after spending the last two seasons with the Columbus Bluejackets, leading them to consecutive playoff appearances, in hopes of a better contract paid off. 

Artemi Panarin already made three All-star games selections with only being in the league for four years. Coming off an 87 point year with the jackets, leading the team in points and assists: another 80-point year placing him relatively at the top of the NHL. In a total of 322 games over his career, he has scored 320 points, 116 goals, and 204 assists and maintained a plus 63 plus/minus.

He has won the prestigious Calder memorial trophy for being the “Rookie of the Year” in addition, he has been in the voting for exhibiting great sportsmanship every season and Mvp once. It is evident that Panarin is a great player and can help the Rangers offensive core.  

The New York Rangers, one of the original six teams and typically playoff contenders have been struggling recently. Last season they finished seventh in the Metropolitan division, with a 32-36-14 record and 26th in the whole league.

Also, they were 22nd in the league for goals for and 24th for goals against. The team was lacking on both sides of the puck, failing to protect net and support all-star goalie Henrik Lundqvist and create offensive opportunities.

Signing Panarin and adding to their already young roster will help the team in many aspects as he both a great player and a leader. 

A while back the Columbus Blue Jackets were at the bottom of the league, showing no sign of making the playoffs soon. Struggling to win any games the Jackets sought out new and young players to hopeful jumpstart their team, signing goalie Sergei  Bobrovsky, defensemen Seth Jones and winger Artemi Panarin.

Panarin quickly got comfortable with his new teammates and coaches and in his first season with the team set the franchises all-time single-season scoring record: 27 goals and 55 assists in 82 games.

This includes 13 points in the last 5 games of the season which lead to some crucial wins regarding whether or not they would make the playoffs: made playoffs by one point. This shows how he became their number one player and took the team from being one of the worst teams to a contender, doing this both years he was on the team.

Although this isn’t relevant to the Rangers, it shows how Panarin can revive a team and rapidly make them playoff contenders.

“‘His skill, his age, his ability to make people better, the fact that he makes plays,’ Gorton said. ‘He’s a goal-scorer and a playmaker, a power-play driver, puck-possession driver (Rosen)’”

Panarin just makes the players around him a lot better and can really unite a team. The Rangers just need the last piece in the puzzle, they have young forwards, good net presence, the addition of defensemen Kaapo Kakko (second pick in NHL draft), they just need someone to pull it all together: Panarin will do the same as he did in Columbus and revive the Rangers.