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Blue Jackets lose Panarin, Bobrovsky and Duchene in free agency

Panarin has signed with the Rangers, Bobrovsky with the Panthers and Duchene with the Predators.
Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky and Matt Duchene (AP Photos)

Former Blue Jackets Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky and Matt Duchene have all signed with new teams on the first day of free agency in the NHL.

Panarin has signed with the Rangers, Bobrovsky with the Panthers and Duchene with the Predators.

The Blue Jackets announced they re-signed defenseman Ryan Murray and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.

Additionally, the team signed former San Jose Sharks forward Gustav Nyquist.


AP: Rangers sign Panarin to 7-year, $81.5M deal

The New York Rangers' rebuild just took a giant leap forward.

Winger Artemi Panarin, the top free agent available this offseason, signed a seven-year, $81.5 million deal to join the Rangers, a person with knowledge of the signing told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team didn't announce terms of the deal Monday. He reportedly turned down more money from the crosstown rival Islanders among others.

The 27-year old Russian had 28 goals and 59 assists last season while helping Columbus get the last wild card in the Eastern Conference and then beat Presidents Trophy-winning Tampa Bay to advance to the second round. Panarin, who won the Calder Trophy with Chicago as the league's top rookie, has career totals of 116 goals and 204 assists in 322 games over four seasons with Blue Jackets and Blackhawks.

He gives the Rangers the scoring touch they've lacked while missing the last two playoffs after a run of seven straight postseason appearances, including a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014.


AP: Panthers agree to seven-year contract with Sergei Bobrovsky

The Florida Panthers have signed goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to a seven-year contract.

A person with knowledge of the signing says Bobrovsky's deal is worth $70 million for a salary-cap hit of $10 million per season. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the team did not announce the terms of the contract.

Bobrovsky was Florida's top free-agent target this summer, especially after last week's retirement of longtime goalie Roberto Luongo. Bobrovsky has a 2.46 goals-against average over nine NHL seasons, the last seven of those with Columbus.

The two-time Vezina Trophy winner was second in the NHL with 37 victories last season and led the league with nine shutouts.

Panthers general manager Dale Tallon says Bobrovsky "is an elite starting goaltender who has consistently proven to be one of the best in the NHL."

Dear CBJ fans I have decided to move on. It was very fun road. We have done lots of good things for my time in CBJ and wish this team and city nothing but the Best! Yes we didn’t reach our goal but we became a really good competitive team. I decided to move on. I write my own story and today that’s my decision. I want to thank fans from the bottom of my heart for all support and excitement during my 7 years in CBJ. I want to thank city of Columbus. This city has been treating me and my family very well, no matter what. I want to say thank to my teammates. I wouldn’t achieve anything without you guys. It’s been a pleasure to work and compete with you shoulder to shoulder. I want to say thank you to entire Blue Jackets organization, all coaches I worked with and everyone from the stuff. Columbus will stay in my heart forever. Дорогие фанаты CBJ. Я принял решение двигаться дальше. Это было интересное путешествие. Мы сделали много хороших вещей и я желаю Коламбусу дальнейшего развития и успехов. Да мы не добились главного, но мы стали сильной боеспособной командой. Я принял решение двигаться дальше. Каждый из нас пишет свою историю и сегодня это мое решение. От всего сердца я хочу поблагодарить вас за вашу поддержку и любовь за все время моего пребывания в CBJ. Я хочу поблагодарить город Коламбус за радушный приём. Я хочу поблагодарить своих партеров по команде. Без вас я ничего бы не добился. Для меня было большим удовольствием выходить на игры и бороться за победы плечом к плечу с вами. Хочу поблагодарить весь клуб Blue jackets, тренерский штаб и весь обслуживающий персонал. Коламбус навсегда останется жить в моем сердце.

A post shared by Sergei Bobrovsky (@sergeibobrovsky) on


AP: Predators invest in their offense by signing Matt Duchene

The Nashville Predators took a big step toward boosting their offense Monday by signing Matt Duchene away from the Columbus Blue Jackets, paying a big price to land a forward they had long targeted.

Duchene, 28, received a seven-year contract worth $56 million and he will expected to spark the Predators’ scoring attack after a 2018-19 season in which they had the NHL’s worst power playand made a first-round playoff exit.

“Our objective this offseason was to bolster our offense, and signing Matt Duchene gives us another dynamic goal-scoring, playmaking center,” general manager David Poile said. “We are excited to add his skill and experience to our top-six forwards and look forward to the next seven years of Matt and his family in Smashville. Matt’s love of country music and passion for the city of Nashville make this partnership a perfect fit.”

The signing comes just over a week after the Predators traded six-time All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban to New Jersey for defensemen Steven Santi and Jeremy Davies as well as two draft picks. Subban was set to make $9 million each of the next three seasons.

Poile said after that trade that the move was necessary to create salary-cap space to strengthen the team at the forward spot.

Duchene certainly should help in that regard.

He had a combined 31 goals and 39 assists this season with the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets, who obtained him at the trade deadline. He also had five goals and five assists in 10 playoff games for Columbus as the Blue Jackets produced a stunning first-round sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning before losing to Boston in the second round.

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