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Could the New York Rangers Part Ways With Artemi Panarin?

Panarin struggled in the post-season, and some reports have suggested it wouldn't be crazy if he was shipped out of the Big Apple. Still, as Lyle Richardson says, it would be a challenge to move the forward.
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Trouble could be brewing between Artemi Panarin and New York Rangers general manager Chris Drury.

Arthur Staple of The Athletic cited two NHL sources last week saying Drury was “vocally unhappy” over the 30-year-old winger's post-season play. He speculated Panarin could ask for a trade if the rift continues.

The Rangers' leading scorer with a career-best 96 points during the regular season, Panarin was fourth among their postseason scorers with 16 points in 20 games. Staple felt he wasn't as consistent as the Rangers needed during that playoff run. 

Staple acknowledged Panarin's contract would be almost impossible to move. Cap Friendly indicates his annual average value is over $11.6 million through 2025-26 plus he carries a full no-movement clause.

Neither Panarin nor Drury have commented on Staple's report. If the Rangers GM had an issue with his post-season play, he likely raised it during the exit interviews.

There's no indication the winger wants out or that Drury is shopping him. Assuming one or the other takes place, finding a suitable trade partner would be difficult because of his contract.

Panarin would have full control over potential trade destinations and those would likely be limited to at most half-a-dozen teams. His preference could be to join a contender rather than a rebuilding club or one in decline.

If Panarin agreed to a trade, his annual cap hit would be a major sticking point. Few clubs can afford to take on that much for the next four seasons. Interested parties would insist on the Rangers retaining as much as 50 percent to facilitate a trade.

Drury may have been unhappy with Panarin's playoff effort, but it's unlikely we'll see him skating with another club next season.

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