- The Florida Panthers are the frontrunners to sign Artemi Panarin
- Panarin is coming off a career-high 87 points last season
- He reportedly purchased a $700,000 condo in South Beach last year
NHL free agency is just about to get underway (July 1st) and one of the main offensive weapons on the market is Artemi Panarin. The Florida Panthers are the favorite to sign the former Blackhawk/Blue Jacket, according to Bovada.
Are they a good bet or are the New York Rangers or Colorado Avalanche the value play? Let’s take a closer look.
2019 Artemi Panarin Free Agency Odds
|Team||Artemi Panarin’s 2019-20 Team Odds at Bovada|
|New York Rangers||+215|
|New York Islanders||+750|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+2000|
Panarin Coming Off Strong Season
Panarin has been in the NHL for four seasons and he’s been steadily productive each year. He’s coming off a year where he notched a career-high 87 points for the Columbus Blue Jackets. He’s now registered at least 74 points in each of his four years, which is the type of consistency that’s going to earn him a huge payday.
What’s going to help his cause even more, though, is the fact that the Blue Jackets stunned the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the 2019 NHL playoffs and Panarin was a big part of that. He had five points in four games. For the playoffs, he finished 11 points in 10 contests.
Panthers Favored To Sign Panarin and Bobrovsky
In Florida, it looks like the Panthers are getting the old band back together. Which band? Chicago.
General Manager Dale Tallon use to work with the Blackhawks and he’s brought in his former coach, Joel Quenneville. Now it looks like they’re targeting Panarin, who played under Quenneville in his first two seasons.
The Panthers met with both Panarin and his former Columbus Blue Jackets teammate Sergei Bobrovsky this past week, but they’ve been super-quiet about the visit. Bringing both of the Russians over makes sense, not only from a talent perspective, but also from a salary cap perspective.
With Roberto Luongo retiring, the Panthers need a goaltender. And what team doesn’t need a top-line scorer? Bringing over someone Panarin is familiar with will only help the case.
Panarin Has Reportedly Bought A Pad In South Beach
Panarin has made it clear as to what he’s looking for. He wants to play in a big market, he wants to be near the beach and he wants to be in a place with a large Russian community. The Panthers and Miami seem to check those boxes.
He’s somewhat telegraphed the move, too, by buying a $700,000 condo in South Beach last year, so he clearly likes the destination.
Panthers Are The Best Bet
There are other teams in the running, like New York and Colorado, but the Panthers look like the right fit. They have the cap space to give him the $10 million-a-year he’s looking for, they should be a better team than the Rangers, there’s familiarity with Quenneville, Tallon and possibly Bobrovsky, and there’s no income tax in Florida, unlike New York.
Add it all up and it seems like the Panthers are clearly the best bet here. At -115, there’s good value betting on Florida to sign Panarin.
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