Another superstar is coming to New York.
The Rangers made it official on Monday when they announced the signing of All-Star winger Artemi Panarin. According to SportsNet's Elliotte Friedman, the new contract is the largest in franchise history at $81.5 million over seven years.
Panarin took less to make his way to New York. The Blue Jackets, the team he played for last season, offered an eight-year, $96 million deal, which was also their largest contract in team history.
Panarin, who will be 28 years old next season, is one of the league's brightest offensive stars. He has never scored less than 27 goals or 74 points, and has topped out at 31 and 87, respectively. His signing adds a premier offensive option to a young core that needs proven scoring. There was no better option available for the Rangers' needs.
It's the latest free agent splash for the Rangers, who have historically added several prized snipers to Broadway: think Jaromir Jagr, Marian Gaborik and Rick Nash in past years. Just like with those names, expectations for Panarin will be sky-high at Madison Square Garden.
And rightfully so considering the point production Panarin has tallied so far in his early career. After two 30-goal, 70-point seasons with the Blackhawks, he was even better out in Columbus. He had 87 points last year for the Blue Jackets -- a career-best.
Since coming into the league in 2015, Panarin actually has the eighth-most points in the NHL (320 in 322 games), which is more than John Tavares, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin to name a few.
The 5-foot-11, 168-pounder plays left wing with a right-handed shot. He is expected to slot in on the top line with Mika Zibanejad and either Pavel Buchnevich or 2019 second overall pick Kaapo Kakko.
The Rangers now have about $8.8 million to work with in cap space after signing Panarin, according to Cap Friendly. They traded LW Jimmy Vesey earlier today to the Sabres for a 2021 NHL Draft pick to get a little more than $2 million back on the cap. Re-signing Jacob Trouba, their other big pickup this offseason, and Buchnevich is the next order of business.
For now, though, the Rangers can bask in their win of the Panarin sweepstakes.