Artemi Panarin, recently signed by the New York Rangers, discusses free agency, his role, and his friendship with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.
During the interview, he answered questions from the audience that covered the Blueshirts, the Russian national team, and his relationship with Washington Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.
Panarin touched on some of the offers that came to him this past offseason. With regards to his contract, he confirmed that he actually took less money to play on Broadway.
“I did not sign a contract with Florida because they offered the smallest amount. And Sergey Bobrovsky was left alone. All this year I dreamed of playing for the Rangers. Of course, I was thinking about other teams more to the point, but I am very glad that in the end I chose New York and did not make a mistake. I have a soul for the Rangers, although Colorado and Columbus offered more money,” he said in the interview.
Panarin also spoke of his role on the Rangers, which includes a team leadership position that aims to make his “partners” better. He acknowledged that the younger players would need to learn from his experience in the league or his “influence.”
Last week, he offered up a though thoughts about Vladimir Putin. His statement could lead to exclusion from playing with the Russian National Team at the World Championships next season.
“It is not known whether I will play in the next world championship,” he admitted.
His relationship with Malkin and Ovechkin, a Putin supporter, appears to remain stats quo. Panarin has a good relationship with both players. Although he doesn’t speak “closely” with them, he does respect them.
It’s not often a player in his prime will not take the best money offer. For Panarin, a dream of playing for the Rangers might bring him something more important than money.
Perhaps it will bring the Stanley Cup back to New York.