Free vodka could keep Blue Jackets' Artemi Panarin in Columbus

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The people and businesses of Columbus, Ohio are officially doing everything that they can to keep Artemi Panarin with the Blue Jackets beyond this season.

The 27-year-old Russian superstar becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018-19 campaign. With 45 points in 39 games so far this season to lead the Blue Jackets in that category and nearly a point per game in his blossoming NHL career, he’s the kind of guy teams want to keep around.

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(Duh).

Unfortunately for the organization and its fans, he hasn’t wanted to discuss a contract extension. Worst than that, recruiting rumours emerged over the summer linking him to the New York Rangers as well as the Tampa Bay Lightning (like they need more offensive help). Apparently Nikita Kucherov posting a photo of himself, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Panarin to Twitter results in these types of discussions to gain some momentum amongst fans and members of the media. Who would have known?

With negotiations at a bit of a standstill, a distillery in Columbus has decided to take action with an offer that might be difficult for Panarin to refuse.


You’re reading that correctly. High Bank Distillery, a young company in the city, claims that they’ll supply Paranin with their signature vodka for the rest of his life is he re-signs with the team.

If that doesn’t make the job of Columbus’ general manager, Jarmo Kekäläinen, any easier, then we don’t know what will.

So, when the one they call ‘The Breadman’ is deciding where he wants to get his dough next season, he better keep this offer involving fermented grain and potatoes in mind as well.

If it was me, the pen would already be all over, near, and around that dotted line.

We’d like to think that this is what Artemi Panarin’s face looked like when he saw that giant billboard in Columbus. (Getty Images)
We’d like to think that this is what Artemi Panarin’s face looked like when he saw that giant billboard in Columbus. (Getty Images)

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