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Blue Jackets' Panarin: 'I want to test free agency'

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Artemi Panarin would like to dip his toes into the free-agent waters.

The star forward opened up about his situation with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, shedding light on a decision to delay discussions with the team about his future until the season ends.

"It’s one life, one chance for free agency and I want to test free agency," Panarin told Brian Hedger of The Columbus Dispatch.

As for what happens when he gets to that point, he didn't commit to re-signing.

The dynamic winger was again non-committal when asked if he's eliminated the Blue Jackets altogether.

"I don't know," he said after nervous laughter, according to Hedger. "Yeah, (they) have a chance, but ... we'll see what happens in the summer. I want to still (consider) this season and help the team win the Stanley Cup.”

Panarin added that he's ready to be traded, but said he doesn't have a destination picked.

Earlier Friday, the 27-year-old pending unrestricted free agent confirmed he switched agents from Dan Milstein to Paul Theofanous, who represents teammate and fellow pending UFA Sergei Bobrovsky.

Panarin is in the final season of the two-year, $12-million deal he inked with the Chicago Blackhawks in Dec. 2016. He was dealt to Columbus about six months later.

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