Finally some good news in this story.
On February 22nd, New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin stunned everyone leave of absence from the team for personal reasons. We know now that’s because he needs to step away for an unspecified amount of time amid allegations in Russia of an assault in 2011 that the player vehemently denies. A Russian news article quoted Andrei Nazarov, Panarin’s former KHL coach and a former NHL enforcer, who claimed Panarin struck an 18-year-old girl in Latvia in 2011. He claimed Panarin knocked an 18-year-old Latvian girl to the floor in 2011 with “several powerful blows,” according to a translation of the Russian newspaper story. He then alleged Panarin paid $40,000 (EUR) in cash for the police to “put the brakes on the case.”
The Rangers supported their player as they proved with the following statement as soon as the allegation emerged:
“Artemi vehemently and unequivocally denies any and all allegations in this fabricated story. This clearly is an intimidation tactic being used against him for being outspoken on recent political events. Artemi is obviously shaken and concerned and will take some time away from the team. The Rangers fully support Artemi and will work with him to identify the source of these unfounded allegations.”
And now the Rangers have him back. On Wednesday, the Blue Shirts shared a post in which we see Panarin hitting the ice with his teammates.
This could be a good sign that this whole story was fake and only meant to harm the forward. Several of his former teammates who played with him under Nazarov have been adamant this story is fabricated.
We don't know when he will be back in the Rangers' lineup, but you have to admit this is a good sign. We will keep you post on The Breadman's return to action!
Source: NHL · Photo Credit: Twitter