Will Panarin and Bobrovsky Leave “The Blue Jackets” in the End of the Season?
USA – August 3, 2018
The Russian stars of the National Hockey League, forward Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky are unsatisfied with their current team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and might leave the team at the end of the season and become unrestricted free agents. The key players of the Blue Jackets refuse to negotiate new contracts with the team.
Coulmbus Head Coach John Tortorella said he is not angry at Panarin.
"I'm disappointed that there's talk he may be leaving," he said. "But I'm not going to coach him any differently. He's going to be put in every [darn] situation I can find to put him in, because he gives us a really good opportunity to win hockey games."
Panarin had NHL career highs in assists (55) and points (82) last season, his third in the NHL and first in Columbus after being traded by the Chicago Blackhawks on June 23, 2017. The 26-year-old and Bobrovsky, who turns 30 on September 20, each became eligible for a contract extension July 1, but Panarin informed the Blue Jackets he does not want to sign long term with them.
"It's about, does he want to spend the next eight years in Columbus?" his agent, Daniel Milstein, told The Athletic in early July. "That's the only thing at stake right now. If it was a two-year deal, we probably would have done it. But it isn't a two-year deal. It's [going to] have to be an extended, seven- or eight-year deal put in place."
On July 19, it become known that Panarin will not negotiate a new contract once the training camp begins September 13, 2018.