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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Columbus GM issues statement on Artemi Panarin trade talks

Artemi Panarin

Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen issued a statement on Tuesday in response to reports that the team is shopping Artemi Panarin.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Tuesday that Panarin told Columbus he is not ready to consider an extension with the team, which has led the Blue Jackets to test the market for him.

Kekalainen did not exactly shoot down the report, but he did say the team wants to retain Panarin.

Panarin is set to be the Jackets’ highest-paid player next season at $6 million before becoming an unrestricted free agent after the season. He set a franchise record with 82 points last season, which is why Columbus wants to keep him longterm.

Panarin has averaged just under 78 points per season in his three years in the NHL. Columbus would have plenty of suitors if they indeed make him available.

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