Panarin, Bobrovsky not distraction to Blue Jackets, Tortorella says

NHL.com

Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky each can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, but Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said he's happy their status hasn't been a distraction.

"I think [Bobrovsky is] handling himself really well," Tortorella said Friday. "I wasn't sure where all this goes with him and [Panarin], the stuff flying around them. I know that a really big part of my job is to watch that and just make sure we are doing things the right way … it's also the team as far as how they are handling the situation, I think it's been really good."

Bobrovsky and Panarin can each become a UFA on July 1, 2019.

Panarin, a 27-year-old forward, is in the final season of a two-year contract he signed with the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 28, 2016. He has been eligible to sign a contract extension with the Blue Jackets since July 1; however, he said he would not have contract discussions during the season after the two sides failed to reach an agreement prior to training camp in September.

#hockey, #professional

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