The phone of Jarmo Kekalainen has been lit up as a Christmas tree since Monday.
The rest of the NHL's general directors have been calling their cohort to Columbus since Monday's statement by Artemi Panarin, Dan Milstein, who apparently assured his client's fate with the blue jackets.
"It's disappointing," Kekalainen told the press on Tuesday. "But all we can do is do it better."
The consensus now is that Panarin is more likely to be traded than not.
This causes Panarin to be the new No. 1 on the TSN Trade board, hit Matt Duchene and his uncertain future in Ottawa until number 2.
On rare occasions, a talent like Bread Man is available at any point in the hockey calendar. Panarin, 27, is one of the few who guides the game in a nocturnal way. He is at the rhythm of a career of 33 best goals and 96 points, has been remarkably consistent in four seasons of the NHL, and is at the absolute end of his career.
Unlike his unrestricted free agent, Sergei Bobrovsky, Panarin has no commercial protection and can be transferred to any team.
Panarin is the golden TradeCentre chip that both the playoff teams and the reconstruction teams are aiming for.
But Kekalainen faces the match of the highest manager before the deadline of February 25. We must weigh the value of the return of Panarin, without losing anything for summer, while trying to keep his best player of the only NHL franchise that has never won a playoff series.
Panarí finished 25 points from the closest scorer of the Blue Jackets last season. It is clear that Kekalainen needs a combination of players from the current list with prospects and first-round outings.
What Kekalainen can achieve for Panarin could influence the interest or the will of Panarin to negotiate a long-term extension with a possible suitor – and if Kekalainen will even give him this possibility.
Kekalainen specifically mentioned the decentralized yields that were offered to UFA pending Jack Johnson and Matt Calvert last year, so the Blue Jackets ended up keeping them up for a race.
The bet is that Kekalainen will not have this same flexibility this time.
"We have said all the time that we are going to make difficult decisions if we have to do it," Kekalainen told reporters. "But our approach is to make our team better, making it as competitive as possible, for this spring but also in the future, obviously. If we have to make a difficult decision, we will do it. Artemi and we would like to keep it. It is your right to go to the free agency, and if you decide to do so, we will call the door on July 1st. "
Here is the last trade desk of TSN Hockey, who always seeks to mix the player's importance with his probability of being traded:
|1. Artemi Panarin, CBJ||LW||27||47||19||55||$ 6M||UFA|
|2. Matt Duchene, OTT||C||28||41||20||47||$ 6M||UFA|
|3. Wayne Simmonds, PHI||RW||30||50||15||23||$ 3.98M||UFA|
|4. Micheal Ferland, CAR||LW||26||41||13||25||$ 1.75 million||UFA|
|5. Mats Zuccarello, NYR||RW||31||35||8||24||4.5 million dollars||UFA|
|6. Dougie Hamilton, CAR||RD||25||50||8||19||$ 5.75M||2|
|7. Gustav Nyquist, DET||RW||29||51||11||43||$ 4.75M||UFA|
|8. Cam Talbot, EDM||G||31||27||3.27||.894||$ 4.17M||UFA|
|9. Derick Brassard, PIT||C||31||40||9||15||$ 5 million||UFA|
|10. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ||G||30||35||2.97||.902||$ 7.43M||UFA|
|11. Jakub Silfverberg, ANA||RW||28||42||12||19||$ 3.75M||UFA|
|12. Jimmy Howard, DET||G||34||34||2.76||.916||$ 5.3M||UFA|
|13. Charlie Coyle, MIN||C||26||50||9||26||$ 3.2M||1|
|14. Alec Martinez, LAK||RD||31||36||3||11||$ 4 million||2|
|15. Kevin Hayes, NYR||C||26||40||10||33||$ 5.18M||UFA|
|16. Brayden Schenn, STL||C||27||45||9||27||$ 5.13M||1|
|17. Colton Parayko, STL||RD||25||49||8||13||$ 5.5M||3|
|18. Jeff Carter, LAK||C||33||49||10||25||$ 5.27 million||3|
|19. Cody Ceci, OTT||RD||24||46||5||15||$ 4.3M||FRG|
|20. Brett Pesce, CAR||RD||23||41||3||11||$ 4.03M||5|
|21. Alex Edler, VAN||LD||32||36||5||20||$ 5 million||UFA|
|22. Andre Burakovsky, WSH||LW||23||44||6||12||$ 3 million||FRG|
|23. Marcus Johansson, NJD||LW||28||37||7||17||4.58 million dollars||UFA|
|24. Chris Kreider, NYR||LW||27||49||22||37||$ 4.63M||1|
|25. Mark Stone, OTT||RW||26||50||22||50||$ 7.35M||UFA|
|26. Nick Bjugstad, FLA||C / RW||26||32||5||12||$ 4.1M||2|
|27. Justin Faulk, CAR||RD||26||50||3||17||4.83 million dollars||1|
|28. Alex Steen, STL||LW||34||35||6||15||$ 5.75M||2|
|29. Jay Bouwmeester, STL||LD||35||45||2||10||$ 5.4M||UFA|
|30. Kasperi Kapanen, TOR||RW||22||49||15||30||$ 863K||FRG|
|31. Andreas Johnsson, TOR||LW||24||43||10||22||$ 788K||FRG|
|32. Ryan Dzingel, OTT||LW||26||48||20||38||$ 1.8M||UFA|
|33. Patrick Maroon, STL||LW||30||41||4||14||$ 1.75 million||UFA|
|34. Jesse Puljujarvi, EDM||RW||20||39||4||9||$ 925K||FRG|
|35. Adam McQuaid, NYR||RD||32||25||0||3||$ 2.75M||UFA|
|36. Niklas Kronwall, DET||LD||38||48||2||14||$ 4.75M||UFA|
|37. Bogdan Kiselvich, FLA||LD||28||31||0||8||$ 925K||UFA|
|38. Chris Tanev, VAN||RD||29||46||2||10||$ 4.45M||1|
|39. Vlad Namestnikov, NYR||LW||25||45||4||16||$ 4 million||1|
|40. Carl Hagelin, LAK||LW||30||29||2||6||$ 4 million||UFA|
|41. Nathan Beaulieu, BUF||LD||26||26||3||7||$ 2.4M||FRG|
|42. Dale Weise, PHI||RW||30||42||5||11||$ 2.35M||1|
|43. Mikkel Boedker, OTT||LW||29||50||5||27||$ 4 million||1|
|44. Sam Gagner, VAN||RW||29||7||1||3||$ 3.15M||1|
|45. Jeff Skinner, BUF||LW||26||49||31||45||$ 5.73M||UFA|
No. 5: First round of Maple Leafs – Toronto in Los Angeles on January 28
13: Chris Wideman – Ottawa at Edmonton on November 22
14: Tanner Pearson – Los Angeles to Pittsburgh on November 14
N ° 17: Jake Muzzin – Los Angeles to Toronto on January 28
27: Alex Petrovic – Florida to Edmonton on December 29
N ° 27: Nino Niederreiter – Minnesota to Carolina on January 17
28: Brandon Manning – Chicago at Edmonton on December 29
35: Michael Del Zotto – Vancouver in Anaheim on January 16
No. 35: Jamie Oleksiak – Pittsburgh in Dallas on January 29
36: Luke Schenn – Anaheim in Vancouver on January 16
Get in touch with Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli