The fears all season finally came to fruition for the Columbus Blue Jackets as star winger Artemi Panarin and star goalie Sergei Bobrovsky both signed to new teams on July 1, the first day of free agency in the NHL.
Panarin will be suiting up for the New York Rangers now as the highest paid winger in the league, reports ESPN. Bobrovsky took his talents to the Florida Panthers on a seven year contract, reports NHL.com. Additionally, center Matt Duchene signed with the Nashville Predators.
After the best playoff run in franchise history, both Panarin, affectionately known as The Bread Man, and Bobrovsky, Bob for short, took to social media to thank Columbus one last time before heading to their new squads.
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Bob was the first of the day to announce his move.
“I decided to move on. I write my own story and today that’s my decision. I want to thank fans from the bottom of my heart for all support and excitement during my 7 years in CBJ. I want to thank city of Columbus. This city has been treating me and my family very well, no matter what.”
Shortly after, Panarin announced his decision, too.
“I was very happy to play for Columbus. I hope you won’t be too mad at me😉 You live only once.”
And as always, fans had opinions. Some chose to focus on the good times we had. And, boy, were those times good.
Others weren’t as gentle. It’s all apart of the healing process, Columbus. We’ll get through this together. That being said, it seems like there’s different emotions for Panarin’s departure compared to Bob’s.
Example for Panarin:
Compared to Bob:
But in reality, this pretty much sums up all of yesterday for Jackets fans.