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