Despite rumors that he might want to sign with the New York Rangers and talk that he loves playing in Columbus, it looks like Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin still hasn’t started negotiating with Columbus. In fact, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports that the agent for Panarin, Dan Milstein said he wants another meeting with his client before he lets Columbus know whether he’s willing to negotiate a contract extension with the Blue Jackets.
Milstein and Panarin met in Miami over the weekend, but Portzline writes that the two will need a second meeting to discuss their what their next step will be. Panarin, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, has been unwilling to sign an extension in Columbus with rumors that he wants to move to a city that can give him more exposure. However, Panarin has fit in well with Columbus and has said that he enjoys playing there.
The 27-year-old would be one of the most intriguing free-agent options if he chooses to test the open market as he’s having another strong year with 19 goals and 53 points in 46 games and could even break some of his career-highs if he can keep those numbers up. Even if Panarin opts not to negotiate a deal with Columbus, the rumor is that the Blue Jackets would keep him for their playoff run this year. Columbus is currently in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 59 points.
- NHL.com’s Amanda Stein reports that star forward Taylor Hall practiced on his own today, but it looks unlikely he will join the team on their road trip to face Pittsburgh on Monday. Hall has been out since Dec. 23 with a lower-body injury and missed the All-Star game because of it. However, the team was hoping the Hart Trophy winner would be ready after the break, which he apparently isn’t. Stein adds that head coach John Hynes said that Hall is progressing, but isn’t healing as quickly as originally thought.
- The New Jersey Devils also made several roster moves today, but didn’t recall goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood. NHL.com’s Amanda Stein reports that the Devils had already decided to go with Keith Kinkaid in goal on Monday. So New Jersey decided to recall Cam Johnson instead, so Blackwood could play in the AHL All-Star Game. The team didn’t want Blackwood to miss the opportunity while sitting on the bench as the team’s backup.
- While the New York Rangers recalled goaltender Alexandar Georgiev and forward Boo Nieves from Hartford earlier today, it’s been noted that the team didn’t bring back defenseman Ryan Lindgren, but much of that could be because defenseman Neal Pionk might be ready to return to the lineup. Pionk has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury, but the 23-year-old was practicing today with the team along with Kevin Hayes, according to New York Post’s Larry Brooks. Hayes has been out since Jan. 2.