Free agent Artemi Panarin joins Rangers on reported 7-year deal

A reported last-ditch effort by the Columbus Blue Jackets wasn’t enough to sway Artemi Panarin, who has decided to leave Ohio for the Big Apple in New York.

The Rangers signed the 27-year-old left-winger on the first day of NHL free agency Monday. The New York Post is reporting Panarin’s deal is for seven years and $81.5 million US, or $11.642 per season.

The Blue Jackets were said to have made a last attempt on Sunday evening to sign Panarin, with The Athletic reporting an eight-year offer worth $96 million.

This past season, Panarin led all Blue Jackets in assists (59), points (87), game-winning goals (eight) and power-play points (18).

Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen went all-in at the NHL trade deadline, adding forwards Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel from Ottawa and opting to keep Panarin and another unrestricted free-agent goalie in Sergei Bobrovsky.

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