Agent: Artemi Panarin won't talk contract until after season

What the Columbus Blue Jackets do with star forward Artemi Panarin is a big talker leading up to the Feb. 25 trade deadline. What they won't do is discuss a contract extension.

On Monday, Panarin's agent Daniel Milstein put out a statement: "We have informed the team that we are willing to discuss Artemi's future after the season. Our priority now is to focus on the rest of the season, trying to win a Stanley Cup for the CBJ & their fans. No additional comments will be made."

Panarin is in the final year of a two-year contract, earning $6 million this season. Coming off an 82-point season and putting up 53 points in 46 games this season has the 27-year-old in line for a big raise.

Panarin has said that he is not ready to commit to Columbus at this time. But he hasn't requested a trade either.

The cap-strapped Chicago Blackhawks traded Panarin to the Blue Jackets for Brandon Saad in June 2017 because they knew the Calder Trophy winner would command a contract that they might not be able to afford.

The Blue Jackets are now in a tough spot. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is also a pending free agent. A trade of one or both of the stars could make sense before they possibly walk, but the Blue Jackets are currently in third place in the Metropolitan Division, only four points out of first.