Earlier this morning, it was announced that New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin would be taking time off from hockey due to allegations that in 2011, he beat up an 18 year old following a game. There are numerous rumors surrounding this situation. The biggest one so far was that these were allegations made up by the Russian government as a scare tactic to silence Panarin. Panarin has been in the Russian media multiple times over this past year because of his comments against Vladimir Putin. The person who accused him, former KHL coach Andrei Nazarov, is known to be a very spoken out Putin supporter. Andrei Nazarov claims that Panarin was arrested, tried, but then payed off the police to drop the case from his record. If these allegations were to be proven, the consequences are unknown. Fortunately for Panarin, it is highly unlikely that this is true. There aren’t any hard facts, witnesses or evidence that this is true. It is all just a story in a newspaper. For Panarin, his biggest concern is his families safety. Panarin has many family members in Russia and his family can be in serious danger via the Russian Government because of his actions. It is unknown how Panarin or the Russian government will handle this situation, but when we find out there will be an updated article explaining everything. As for the Rangers, they released a statement backing up Panarin.
As seen in the picture, the Rangers are in complete support of Panarin and his family. They too believe that these are allegations made up by the Russian government. As for Panarin’s return, the date is unknown. The Rangers have a game on Wednesday vs. the Philadelphia Flyers. Panarin is out indefinitely for this game. His absence is a massive loss for the team. Not only do they lose their best player, but they are losing an amazing leader and locker-room presence. The Rangers are already without center Filip Chytil, defensemen Jacob Trouba and potentially forward Kappo Kakko. The Panarin loss has will have many affects on the play of the team as well as their mental states. Panarin is a huge uplifter so his loss will hurt many in the Rangers organization. We hope everything goes well for Panarin and we hope to see him back on the ice as soon as possible.