After trading for Matt Duchene on Friday, Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said he'll need a king's ransom if he's going to consider trading pending unrestricted free agent Artemi Panarin.
"I don't think this affects that at all," Kekalainen said, according to Tom Reed of The Athletic. "We said right from the start and I think we've stayed consistent with what we've said about Panarin. We're not going to trade Panarin just for draft picks. We're going to keep our eyes and ears open on what the marketplace looks like. That's what we have said right from the start. But it would have to be a deal that we can't refuse. It would have to make sense now and in the future. That's the best answer I can give you."
Panarin was the biggest name in the rental market before the Blue Jackets flipped the script and became buyers.
Now, even though Columbus has another marquee pending UFA on its books in Duchene, the Blue Jackets appear all-in to make a playoff push before a critical offseason.
Entering Friday's action, Columbus sits two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for third spot in the Metropolitan Division with two games in hand.