Tuesday , March 9 2021

Panarin jumps to the top of TSN's commercial bait frame



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Jarmo Kekalainen's phone has been lit as a Christmas tree since Monday.

The rest of NHL general managers are calling their cohort in Columbus since Monday's statement from Artemi Panarin agent Dan Milstein, who apparently secured his client's fate with the Blue Jackets.

"It's disappointing," Kekalainen told reporters on Tuesday. "But all we can do is give the best of us."

The consensus now is that Panarin is more likely to be traded than not.

That makes Panarin the new No. 1 on the TSN Commercial Bait Board, beating Matt Duchene and his uncertain future in Ottawa, coming in second.

Rarely does a talent like the Bread Man become available at any time on the hockey calendar. Panarin, 27, is one of the few wings to run the game every night. He is on pace for a career-best 33 goals and 96 points, he has been remarkably consistent in four NHL seasons, and he is at the absolute pinnacle of his career.

Unlike the unrestricted free hanging companion, Sergei Bobrovsky, Panarin has no protection without trade and can be transferred to any team.

Panarin is the TradeCentre's golden chip that both playoff teams and rebuilding teams covet.

But Kekalainen is facing the final manager's riddle before the deadline of February 25. He must weigh the value of Panarin's return, losing him for nothing in the summer, while trying to keep the best player in the only NHL franchise he has ever won a series of playoffs.

Panarin finished 25 points clear of Blue Jackets' closest scorer last season. Clearly, Kekalainen needs a combination of current players with prospect futures and first round picks.

What Kekalainen might get from Panarin might depend on Panarin's willingness or willingness to negotiate a long-term extension with a potential suitor – and whether Kekalainen would even give him that possibility.

Kekalainen specifically mentioned below-expected returns offered by UFAs outstanding Jack Johnson and Matt Calvert last year, which is why the Blue Jackets ended up keeping them to run.

The bet is that Kekalainen will not have the same flexibility this time around.

"We have already said that we will make difficult decisions if necessary," Kekalainen told reporters. "But our focus is on improving our team, making it as competitive as possible, for this spring, but also for the future, obviously. If we have to make a difficult decision, we will. We like Artemi and would love to keep it. It's your right to go to the free agency, and if he chooses to do so, we'll be knocking on your door on July 1.

Here is TSN Hockey's latest commercial bait tray, which always seeks to blend the prominence of the player with the probability of being traded:

Embedded Image 1. Artemi Panarin, CBJ LW 27 47 19 55 US $ 6 million UFA
Embedded Image 2. Matt Duchene, OTT W 28 41 20 47 US $ 6 million UFA
3. Wayne Simmonds, PHI RW 30 50 15 23 US $ 3.98 million UFA
4. Micheal Ferland, CAR LW 26 41 13 25 US $ 1.75 million UFA
5. Mats Zuccarello, NYR RW 31 35 8 24 US $ 4.5 million UFA
6. Dougie Hamilton, CAR RD 25 50 8 19 US $ 5.75 million 2
7. Gustav Nyquist, DET RW 29 51 11 43 US $ 4.75 million UFA
Embedded Image 8. Cam Talbot, EDM G 31 27 3.27 .894 US $ 4.17 million UFA
9. Derick Brassard, PIT W 31 40 9 15 US $ 5 million UFA
10. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ G 30 35 2.97 , 902 US $ 7.43 million UFA
11. Jakub Silfverberg, ANA RW 28 42 12 19 US $ 3.75 million UFA
12. Jimmy Howard, DET G 34 34 2.76 916 US $ 5.3 million UFA
13. Charlie Coyle, MIN W 26 50 9 26 US $ 3.2 million 1
Embedded Image 14. Alec Martinez, LAK RD 31 36 3 11 US $ 4 million 2
15. Kevin Hayes, NYR W 26 40 10 33 US $ 5.18 million UFA
16. Brayden Schenn, STL W 27 45 9 27 US $ 5.13 million 1
17. Colton Parayko, STL RD 25 49 8 13 US $ 5.5 million 3
18. Jeff Carter, LAK W 33 49 10 25 US $ 5.27 million 3
19. Cody Ceci, OTT RD 24 46 5 15 US $ 4.3 million RFA
20. Brett Pesce, CAR RD 23 41 3 11 US $ 4.03 million 5
21. Alex Edler, VAN LD 32 36 5 20 US $ 5 million UFA
22. Andre Burakovsky, WSH LW 23 44 6 12 US $ 3 million RFA
23. Marcus Johansson, NJD LW 28 37 7 17 US $ 4.58 million UFA
24. Chris Kreider, NYR LW 27 49 22 37 US $ 4.63 million 1
Embedded Image 25. Mark Stone, OTT RW 26 50 22 50 US $ 7.35 million UFA
26. Nick Bjugstad, FLA C / RW 26 32 5 12 US $ 4.1 million 2
27. Justin Faulk, CAR RD 26 50 3 17 US $ 4.83 million 1
28. Alex Steen, STL LW 34 35 6 15 US $ 5.75 million 2
29. Jay Bouwmeester, STL LD 35 45 2 10 US $ 5.4 million UFA
Embedded Image 30. Kasperi Kapanen, TOR RW 22 49 15 30 US $ 863 thousand RFA
31. Andreas Johnsson, TOR LW 24 43 10 22 US $ 788 thousand RFA
32. Ryan Dzingel, OTT LW 26 48 20 38 US $ 1.8 million UFA
33. Patrick Maroon, STL LW 30 41 4 14 US $ 1.75 million UFA
Embedded Image 34. Jesse Puljujarvi, EDM RW 20 39 4 9 US $ 925 thousand RFA
35. Adam McQuaid, NYR RD 32 25 0 3 US $ 2.75 million UFA
36. Niklas Kronwall, DET LD 38 48 2 14 US $ 4.75 million UFA
37. Bogdan Kiselvich, FLA LD 28 31 0 8 US $ 925 thousand UFA
38. Chris Tanev, VAN RD 29 46 2 10 US $ 4.45 million 1
39. Vlad Namestnikov, NYR LW 25 45 4 16 US $ 4 million 1
40. Carl Hagelin, LAK LW 30 29 2 6 US $ 4 million UFA
41. Nathan Beaulieu, BUF LD 26 26 3 7 US $ 2.4 million RFA
42. Dale Weise, PHI RW 30 42 5 11 US $ 2.35 million 1
43. Mikkel Boedker, OTT LW 29 50 5 27 US $ 4 million 1
44. Sam Gagner, VAN RW 29 7 1 3 US $ 3.15 million 1
45. Jeff Skinner, BUF LW 26 49 31 45 US $ 5.73 million UFA

TRADED:

No. 5: Maple Leafs pick in the first round – Toronto to Los Angeles on January 28
No. 13: Chris Wideman – Ottawa to Edmonton on November 22
No. 14: Tanner Pearson – Los Angeles to Pittsburgh on November 14
No. 17: Jake Muzzin – Los Angeles to Toronto on January 28
No. 27: Alex Petrovic – Florida to Edmonton on December 29
No. 27: Nino Niederreiter – Minnesota for Carolina on January 17
No. 28: Brandon Manning – Chicago to Edmonton on December 29
No. 35: Michael Del Zotto – Vancouver to Anaheim on January 16
No. 35: Jamie Oleksiak – Pittsburgh to Dallas on January 29
No. 36: Luke Schenn – Anaheim to Vancouver on January 16

Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli


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