If you’re a Blue Jackets fan or just a hockey fan in general, you’re well aware of the looming disaster for Columbus. Artemi Panarin (and his fellow countryman Sergei Bobrovsky) are both unrestricted free agents at the end of the 2019 season. None of the parties involved have been able to reach an agreement on an extension or new contract, to the point where Panarin and his agent cut off contract talks and informed the team that he will not consider his future until after the season.
This puts the Blue Jackets in a VERY difficult spot. They aren’t quite a cup contender as constructed, but they could get to that level with a deadline deal or two. All of that gets thrown into a blender if Panarin isn’t in the mix though. If the NHL has learned anything from last year’s Islanders-Tavares situation, its not worth letting some prima donna string you along all season and into free agency and then bail without the courtesy of letting you get anything in return. Although the Islanders are doing just fine, I’m sure they would have preferred to get a young player and a draft pick for Tavares at last year’s deadline. Now the Jackets are faced with the million dollar decision. Do they try to make a run at a cup by acquiring a few players this month, or do they see if they can get a quality return for a Panarin rental? There’s really no good answer and it’s a really shitty situation to be in.
Then today.. there was this…
Holy shit! Could it be? Is it possible Panarin is annoyed and frustrated with how his agent has been handling this whole charade with Columbus’ front office and finally had enough? Yes.. yes yes.. that has to be it, right? *TURNS ON ALL BLUE JACKETS BEAT WRITERS TWITTER NOTIFICATIONS EXPECTING TO HEAR THAT A CONTRACT EXTENSION IS BEING SIGNED BY THE END OF THE WEEKEND**
Not so fast…
Oh, man.. what a high that was. A pure adrenaline rush of optimism and excitement. All to come crashing down when you find out he signed with the worst possible agent in the eyes of the Jackets. Paul Theofanous, the same guy who has been a thorn in Jarmo and John Davidson’s side for the entirety of Bob’s tenure in Columbus will now be doing the negotiating for the Breadman.
At this point, I’m done with Russians. Can we say that in 2019? I don’t care, I’m still gonna. It could be pure coincidence, but our season and chance at a playoff run is going to be thwarted by our two best Russian players who can’t decide where they wanna play next year. Most people think they wanna play in coastal cities, which is such a cop out because Columbus has so many rivers and lakes. What does Buckeye Lake or the Scioto River not have that Tampa does? What freaking divas.
I wish someone on that Jackets team could knock some sense into these two idiots. There is a very strong core that could be good for a long time. You’re hard pressed to find a team with this young of a core that looks like they will stick together beyond the next 3-5 years. That doesn’t seem to matter much to Panarin or Bob though, and that’s their loss. I honestly couldn’t give two shits at this point if Bob left. The guy hasn’t been right for a while now and I think he’s just running out the clock until he can pick his next city to flop in the playoffs for. But Panarin, man that one hurts. He seems so happy and always seems like he’s having fun. Go live on the beach during the off season. Win a cup in Columbus and you could probably convince the city to build a beach for you. Christ, I’ll bring a shovel.Follow @BennyMacBlog