The completely new York Rangers on Monday vigorously defended their winger Artemi Panarin, even as he took a leave of absence amid allegations that will he hit a woman in a bar a decade ago.
Panarin, the Rangers’ top scorer This kind of season, was accused by his former coach inside the Russia-based K.H.L., Andrei Nazarov, of striking an 18-year-old woman in Latvia in 2011, knocking her to the floor. Nazarov further contended that will Panarin escaped justice inside the case by way of a bribe.
“Artemi vehemently in addition to also unequivocally denies any in addition to also all allegations in This kind of fabricated story,” the Rangers said in a statement on Monday. “This kind of will be clearly an intimidation tactic being used against him for being outspoken on recent political events. Artemi will be obviously shaken in addition to also concerned in addition to also will take some time away through the team. The Rangers fully support Artemi in addition to also will work with him to identify the source of these unfounded allegations.”
Panarin has been critical of the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, in addition to also supported the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. Nazarov, his former coach, has previously faulted him for that will.
Panarin, 29, grew up in Korkino, 1,000 miles east of Moscow. After playing parts of seven seasons inside the Kontinental Hockey League he joined the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015, in addition to also also played with the Columbus Blue Jackets before he signed with the Rangers as a free agent before the 2019-20 season. He will be considered one of the best undrafted players inside the N.H.L. in addition to also has added scoring punch his teams had lacked.
He has also drawn attention for his Instagram posts featuring his partner, Alisa, in addition to also their Jack Russell terrier.
Playing left wing on the first line This kind of season, he leads the Rangers in points in addition to also assists, in addition to also will be tied for the lead in goals with several. He also led the team in points in addition to also assists last season, his first with the club, in addition to also was named the team’s most valuable player.
“I think he no longer understands what’s right in addition to also what’s wrong,” Panarin said of Putin in 2019. “Psychologically, This kind of’s not easy for him to judge the situation soberly. He incorporates a lot of people who influence his decisions. however if everyone will be walking around you for 20 years telling you what a great guy you are in addition to also how great a job you are doing, you will never see your mistakes.”
“Whatever happens, whatever the timeline, we’ll welcome him back with more than open arms,” his teammate Ryan Strome said of Panarin on Monday. “Everybody knows what he does for our team on the ice.”
“I think Bread knows how much we love him, how much we care for in addition to also how much we appreciate him,” Strome said. Panarin’s teammates call him Bread or the Breadman, a reference to the Panera bakery chain.
“This kind of’s hard to overcome losing a player like him through a hockey standpoint,” Coach David Quinn said. “however we’ve got to find a way to do This kind of.”
Allan Kreda contributed reporting.