Anders Lee staying with Isles, Rangers sign Panarin
The Isles kept their captain, while the Rangers' rebuild took a giant leap forward Monday.
The Islanders agreed to terms with Lee on a $49 million, seven-year deal Monday. The move comes a year after the Islanders lost captain John Tavares to Toronto in free agency.
Lee joins fellow forwards Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle in re-signing with the Islanders this offseason. Lee posted 51 points with 28 goals and 23 assists last season.
Meanwhile in Manhattan, winger Artemi Panarin, the top free agent available this offseason, signed a seven-year, $81.5 million deal to join the Rangers. He reportedly turned down more money from the crosstown rival Islanders, among others.
The 27-year old Russian had 28 goals and 59 assists last season while helping Columbus get the last wild card in the Eastern Conference and then beat Presidents Trophy-winning Tampa Bay to advance to the second round. Panarin, who won the Calder Trophy with Chicago as the league's top rookie, has career totals of 116 goals and 204 assists in 322 games over four seasons with the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks.
He gives the Rangers the scoring touch they've lacked while missing the last two playoffs after a run of seven straight postseason appearances, including a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014.
The Islanders also announced they signed goalie Semyon Varlamov to a four-year deal Monday.