The New York Rangers may be the biggest winners in free agency as they have signed the biggest star on the market. Artemi Panarin, who was rumoured all season to sign with the Rangers, has finally put pen to paper.
In the bidding war for Panarin, the New York Islanders made a big push to sign the Blue Jackets star winger. The Islanders reportedly were willing to pay Panarin over $12 million per season, but Panarin ultimately decided to take less money as he wanted to play for the Rangers.
The bread man signed in New York for seven years and will earn a total of $81.5 million during that time span. Panarin will be earning an annual average value of $11.6 million per season.
Panarin was acquired by the Columbus Blue Jackets from the Chicago Blackhawks in a trade that sent Brandon Saad back to the windy city along with goaltender Anton Forsberg.
Panarin put up a career-high 87 points with the Blue Jackets this season in a total of 79 games played. the 27-year-old winger is heading into just his fifth season in the NHL, playing for his third team in that span having agreed to a new deal with the New York Rangers. In just four seasons, Panarin has recorded 320 points in 322 games.
The Rangers have taken major strides since announcing their rebuild just a short time ago. The additions of high-end prospects who are expected to join the roster next season like Kaapo Kakko and Vitali Kravstov add to a growing team. The Rangers have quickly become one of the most exciting teams in the NHL and the addition of Artemi Panarin makes them all the more exciting.