Despite the New York Rangers publicly stating that they were in rebuild mode, the team went out and handed a massive deal to forward Artemi Panarin back in 2019.
The forward signed a 7 year deal that carries an AAV of $11.642million, a clear indication that the Rangers felt he was a franchise player.
A contract like that usually carries heavy responsibility and lots of times even comes with being eventually named captain, however Panarin isn't interested.
Panarin revealed during a recent interview that he was approached by the Rangers to wear the "C" but the forward turned it down.
"I think we have more deserving candidates for that role now," Panarin said on Friday. "Would I want it? I'd rather say no, actually. It's not just putting a letter on the sweater and walking around taking pictures. It's a lot of rough work in the locker room. And it's not just about playing good hockey. You also have to give your energy between the periods, motivate guys, giving interviews, being the face of the franchise. Overall, it's a lot of work off the ice."
"I think I'm more effective in hockey," Panarin said. "And I'm afraid that I won't be an effective captain. I even don't speak English. How can I motivate? I can only influence with my own game. And they will listen to me without any letters."
Are you surprised that Panarin walked away from the opportunity?