Breaking news: Artemi Panarin to step away after 2011 alleged incident

Artemi Panarin #10 of the New York Rangers (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
Artemi Panarin #10 of the New York Rangers (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /

In shocking news, Artemi Panarin will be taking a leave of absence from the New York Rangers after allegations emerged regarding the Russian superstar. The story broke after an article was published early this morning in Panarin’s home country.

The article, speculated by some to be a politically motivated retaliation, alleges that the Russian skater beat up an 18-year-old girl in Latvia while playing for the KHL’s Chekhov Vityaz in 2011. The allegations come from Panarin’s former coach, Andrei Nazarov.

The story was first reported by the New York Post’s Larry Brooks and then further investigated by the NY Post’s Mollie Walker. Less than an hour ago, Walker tweeted out the following:

Panarin is the most decorated Russian player in the NHL to take opposition against Russian President, Vladamir Putin. Panarin has used his stardom and social media presence to speak out against the Russian government and the country’s restrictions on freedom of speech. In 2019, Panarin took to youtube to air his political frustrations. Since then, Panarin, who still has family in Russia, has been publicly lambasted for his opinions.

Other Russian NHLers including Alexander Ovechkin have publicly disagreed with Panarin’s sentiments. 

No evidence has emerged regarding the situation, but other publications have picked up the story, which is now trending on Twitter.

The New York Rangers have since tweeted the following:

At this time it is unknown how long Panarin is expected to be away from the team. However, it is evident by their tweet that the New York Rangers are in total support of their franchise player. Hopefully, the truth will come to the surface sooner rather than later.