NHL Rumors: P.K. Subban drawing interest, and Artemi Panarin dismisses trade talk

nhl rumors p.k. subban
Oct 1, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (76) celebrates his goal during the first period of their game against the New York Rangers at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s NHL Rumors has a Hudson River Rivalry theme to it regarding New Jersey Devils unrestricted free agent P.K. Subban and New York Rangers star Artemi Panarin.

We start in New Jersey where Subban still remains unsigned and looking for a new team. At this time, a return to the Devils seems unlikely. His agent, Don Meehan spoke with Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette and provided an update.

“He wants to play, I can tell you that,” Meehan said to the Montreal Gazette. “But I think at this stage in his career he would want to play somewhere that would provide a good opportunity for him.”

NHL Rumors: P.K. Subban drawing interest

Subban, 33, recorded 22 points in 77 games last season. That’s a far cry from the days when he was scoring 50+ points a year and competing for a Norris Trophy. Although it seems P.K. has lost his wheels, he can still shoot the puck with the best of them and run a power play.

“I’ve indicated to him that we’ve had expressions of interest,” Meehan revealed. “I’ve told him that there are teams moving money — assessing what kind of cap space they have, analyzing their depth scenarios to determine just exactly what they can do. Some of these issues are in play as we speak, so I can’t get a definitive response from some teams in terms of moving ahead, but I have had expressions of interest for him to date. But the teams that have expressed interest aren’t in a position to contract now because they’ve got other things in play.”

There’s no way Subban will ever see an AAV of $9 million, but he should get something in the neighborhood of $4-6 million on a one-year deal. The recent deal signed by John Klingberg with the Ducks will act as a good benchmark.

Artemi Panarin dismisses trade rumors

artemi panarin rumors
Nov 8, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) checks back into the game in the second period against the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Panarin, 30, registered 16 points in 20 games this past postseason. Being the highest paid player on the team ($11.6M AAV), his stats may have been wanting but he was competing.

Still, some wondered if Panarin was battling some physical issues. Outside of the expected wear and tear from playing 20 playoff games in 40 days, nothing was reported except rumblings that Drury wasn’t happy with his superstar.

Two league sources said Drury was vocally unhappy about Panarin’s play in the postseason, when he had 16 points in 20 games but not the consistent impact anyone around the Rangers hoped for or needed. If there’s a rift, Panarin could ask out, as near-impossible as it would be to move this mammoth contract.

Arthur Staple, The Athletic (Subscription Required)

In a Russian interview posted on the YouTube channel for Sports-Express, Panarin was asked specifically about that criticism and subsequent trade rumors.

“Speculators,” Panarin shot back. “I haven’t heard of such a thing firsthand.”

Panarin expressed his displeasure with the rumors, not necessarily for himself but for his grandfather who read the reports. That prompted him to question where Artemi might get traded.

“I’m sure I could play better,” Panarin responded. “What did they write there? I really don’t know… I’m already used to not paying attention. I’m just shocked by this. Where are they trading me? They can’t trade me. If these people understood at least a little, they would know that my contract [has a no-move clause] and a trade is impossible.”

Panarin signed a 7 year deal back in 2019 with the Rangers that includes a full no-move close for the duration of the contract. He is entering the 4th year of the deal which concludes at the end of the 2024-25 season.