Arthur Staple of The Athletic reports two league sources leaked some info to Staple stating that Rangers GM Chris Drury was unhappy with Panarin’s playoff performance. He was inconsistent and did not provide the impact that a player making $11.6 million should make.
Staple went on to say, if there is a rift between Panarin and Drury, Panarin could request a trade. Artemi did put up 16 points in 20 games played this past postseason.
New York is in a very tough situation with the Rangers salary cap. If Alexis Lafreniere has a breakout season in 2022-23 and he is coming off his entry-level contract, he could command a big raise next offseason.
K’Andre Miller is going to get a big raise in the summer of 2023 and if the Rangers do not find a way to shed salary over this summer and at the end of next season, New York will not be able to afford both Lafreniere and Miller.
Could the ‘rift’ be a ploy by Drury to gage interest from other teams for a Panarin trade?
One thing to keep in mind about a potential Panarin trade. He still has another four years left on his contract at a mega cap hit of $11.6 million and he has a full no-move clause, so he controls where he wants to go IF he wants to be traded.