July 1st 2019 was a date in New York Rangers history, Its the day that ‘The Breadman’ Artemi Panarin signed a 7 year contract worth $81.5 million dollars, A yearly income of $11.642.857 dollars. The 28 year old left winger grew up in Korkino, Russia. After being in the KHL in Russia from 2008 till 2015, Panarin was undrafted and signed in 2015 to the Chicago Blackhawks where he won the Calder for NHL rookie of the year in his first season after scoring 30 goals 47 assists in 80 games. He would stay with the Blackhawks for a second season tallying 27 goals and 55 assists in 82 games.
Panarin’s next move was to the Colombus Blue Jackets where he would stay for two seasons to then become a free agent and be picked up by the New York Rangers in July. The Blue Jackets had an offer rejected by Panarin, An eight-year contract worth $96 million, sources confirmed, which would have carried a $12 million cap hit but Panarin let the clock run down on the offer and he accepted New York’s offer and bolted off to Broadway. Some sources say his mind was made up after close friend Sergei Bobrovsky was shipped out of Colombus to Florida on a 7 year $70 million dollar deal in return for 3 draft picks.
Panarin arrived in the Big Apple ready to win over a city that’s getting more and more impatient with what seems to be the Blueshirts never ending rebuild. Under the guidance of head coach David Quinn, The Breadman slotted straight into line 1 on the Left wing with new line mates Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich for a pre season game against the New York Islanders where he netted his first 2 in a Rangers uniform in a Rangers 3-1 win.
Panarin is becoming a favourite at Madison square garden with the Blueshirt die hards his numbers so far this year reflect on what he has to offer and what he can bring to a team that only last year looked destined to fail in making it to the playoffs which this season seems more realistic. His stats for this season currently stand at 22 games 12 goals and 18 assists and realistically could hit a 40 goal season if he can keep up the standard of play that he has exhibited so far.
One of the reasons for the fans ever growing love for Panarin are not only his numbers his ethic and the work he puts in on game day but his goal celebrations, One in particular which originally appeared on an Instagram video which see’s Panarin on a boat with Bobrovsky this summer partying and messing around dancing where both are seen doing a high straight leg kick which has now been adapted for Artemi’s on ice goal celebration.
He’s already loved, He loves the city and he has the makings of becoming a Blueshirt Legend, Where the season goes for the Rangers no one knows but as for Artemi Panarin he’s going no where for a long time and the fans can’t wait to see what he can bring to the team will it be a Stanley Cup win that the city has been awaiting since 1994.