New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin has decided to leave his squad for a moment after an article in Russia aired Monday claiming he beat an 18-year-old woman in 2011.
The information of his hasty departure was reported in the morning by the daily New York Post.
Andrei Nazarov, the former coach of Panarin with Vityaz Chekhov, in the Continental Hockey League, delivered an interview to the sports.ru site in which he mentioned that the concerned skater hit his victim in a bar in Riga in the ‘using “several powerful punches”. He added that the hockey player had been arrested, adding however that “negotiations took place with the police authorities”. Nazarov claims that a sum – possibly 40,000 euros in cash according to him – was disbursed to cover up the case.
“But what is now clear is that we were wrong then. Artemi did not deserve to be spared the punishment of the whole world for the fact that he beat the girl, ”said the instructor in particular.
Panarin evolved with Vityaz from 2008-2009 to 2012-2013. Before ending up in the National League with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015, he played for the St. Petersburg SKA, totaling 102 points in 108 games.
Recently, the hockey player expressed on social networks his support for President Vladimir Putin’s opponent, Alexei Navalny, who is currently in prison. Some believe that the Ranger color-bearer was the victim of a smear campaign in his country, especially since Nazarov – currently a pilot of the Neftekhimik of Nizhnekamsk – is an avowed supporter of the Russian president.
The finalist for the Hart Trophy in 2020 criticized Putin, among other things, in July 2019 during an interview on Vsemu Golivin’s YouTube channel.
“I think he no longer understands what is good and what is bad,” he said. Psychologically, it is not easy for him to judge the situation soberly. There are a lot of people who influence his decisions. On the other hand, if everyone who has been around you for 20 years tells you that you are a good guy and that you do a great job, you will never see your mistakes. ”
For its part, the New York organization adheres to this thesis and indicated that it supported its attacker.
“Artemi has vehemently and unequivocally denied all allegations in this fabricated story. This is clearly a bullying tactic because he has spoken out about recent political events. Artemi is obviously shocked and worried and will take a few days away from the team. The Rangers fully support him and will work with him to identify the source of these unfounded allegations, ”a statement read.
Later in the evening, the Russian media sports.ru mentioned that Nazarov’s statements would be false, since on the dates mentioned Panarin had been called back by the second national team.
“The Vityaz players who were with Panarin in Riga during this evening mention that the story is completely false,” even wrote the journalist of the Russian media Sport-Express, Igor Eronko, on his Twitter account.
This season with the Blueshirts, Panarin has registered five goals and 13 assists for 18 points in 14 games. His team is due to visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.
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