Artemi Panarin signed a seven-year megadeal with the New York Rangers on Monday afternoon. The days of New York spending are back — well sort of. This contract features an average annual value of $11.642 million (14.2% cap hit). There have been higher cap hits but the pact still raises some eyebrows because of what was reported.
It is believed that the New York Islanders offered upwards of $12.5 million AAV. Furthermore. Columbus reportedly tabled a $12 million AAV deal as well. In the end, Panarin seemed to want to play under the big lights and the ocean. He made his decision and now the New York Rangers rebuild is accelerated to the max.
What Artemi Panarin signing means for the New York Rangers
This means business. New York wants to contend in the next several seasons. Expectations are much higher with a top-flight forward that can control the puck, score and add to the man advantage.
Again, the AAV and term raise some eyebrows but Jeff Gorton felt he needed to make a splash. Henrik Lundqvist gets a chance to have one or two more runs at glory perhaps as well.
Artemi Panarin exudes consistency — as he has tallied 74 or more points in all four seasons of his NHL career. Consequently, New York expects closer to the 87 points or more he achieved in Columbus this year.
The more debatable conjecture involves Panarin’s new center linemate. Mika Zibanejad enjoyed a career year last season and offers a slight upgrade over Pierre-Luc Dubois. It is projected both will play on the top line and top-unit power play. Chemistry seems likely with the two forwards.
Maybe, the only question appears to be who will be on the right wing? Will it be Chris Kreider? Honestly, that makes the most sense but it is not set in stone that Kreider will stay in New York. On the other hand, this signing increases those chances.
The New York Rangers possess a top line that can frighten teams on a nightly basis now like in the days of Jaromir Jagr. This deal takes Panarin through the rest of his prime and into his mid-thirties.
A quick Artemi Panarin numerology
Thanks to Bill Comeau once again as we look at Panarin’s overall numbers and underlying metrics. At even strength, Panarin becomes nothing short of a magician at times. He creates plays at a level which keeps improving. Because of this, he lifts the play of his teammates and may even see a boost in all phases himself.
Among forwards, few hit the 99th percentile as often as Artemi Panarin. When it comes to primary assists and relative team Corsi For, Panarin tops the league. He is also right there in several other vital categories and metrics. Panarin attempts not as many shots but he makes up for it everywhere else. Also, do not expect him to have many defensive zone starts.
Panarin makes up for that with the adage, the best defense is a good offense. The thought process dictates that the Russian forward loves the spotlight only New York City can give.
Projections expect to be intriguing with Artemi Panarin. Can Mika Zibanejad stay healthy again this year? That may be the only “major” question mark. It would not surprise anyone to see some 90-100 point numbers tossed out there. Panarin has that type of talent and New York likely sees an uptick in its man advantage statistics too.
Some final words on Artemi Panarin
The forward electrifies offenses everywhere he goes as Panarin is a polarizing figure on the ice. He helped advance Columbus past Tampa Bay in the playoffs but can Panarin buoy New York to higher aspirations? If the last season in Columbus is any indication, it is possible at least.
Please note that the salary breakdown has not been revealed yet. Also, Panarin’s contract includes or may include other modifications. Keep that in mind.