Rangers Star Takes Leave After Accusations He Assaulted a Woman in a Bar

The New York Rangers on Monday vigorously defended their winger Artemi Panarin, at the same time as he took a go away of absence amid allegations that he hit a girl in a bar a decade in the past.

Panarin, the Rangers’ best scorer this season, was once accused through his former trainer within the Russia-based Ok.H.L., Andrei Nazarov, of hanging an 18-year-old girl in Latvia in 2011, knocking her to the ground. Nazarov additional contended that Panarin escaped justice within the case by means of a bribe.

“Artemi vehemently and unequivocally denies any and all allegations on this fabricated tale,” the Rangers said in a commentary on Monday. “That is obviously an intimidation tactic getting used in opposition to him for being outspoken on fresh political occasions. Artemi is clearly shaken and anxious and can take a little time clear of the workforce. The Rangers totally strengthen Artemi and can paintings with him to spot the supply of those unfounded allegations.”

Panarin has been crucial of the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and supported the opposition chief Aleksei Navalny. Nazarov, his former trainer, has up to now faulted him for that.

Panarin, 29, grew up in Korkino, 1,000 miles east of Moscow. After taking part in portions of 7 seasons within the Kontinental Hockey League he joined the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015, and in addition performed with the Columbus Blue Jackets sooner than he signed with the Rangers as a loose agent sooner than the 2019-20 season. He is thought of as some of the best possible undrafted avid gamers within the N.H.L. and has added scoring punch his groups had lacked.

He has additionally drawn consideration for his Instagram posts that includes his spouse, Alisa, and their Jack Russell terrier.

Taking part in left wing at the first line this season, he leads the Rangers in issues and assists, and is tied for the lead in targets with 5. He additionally led the workforce in issues and assists closing season, his first with the membership, and was once named the workforce’s most useful participant.

“I believe he now not understands what’s proper and what’s fallacious,” Panarin stated of Putin in 2019. “Psychologically, it’s no longer simple for him to pass judgement on the location soberly. He has numerous individuals who affect his choices. But when everyone seems to be strolling round you for 20 years telling you what an ideal man you might be and the way nice a task you might be doing, you are going to by no means see your errors.”

“No matter occurs, regardless of the timeline, we’ll welcome him again with greater than open fingers,” his teammate Ryan Strome stated of Panarin on Monday. “Everyone is aware of what he does for our workforce at the ice.”

“I believe Bread is aware of how a lot we like him, how a lot we take care of and what sort of we respect him,” Strome stated. Panarin’s teammates name him Bread or the Breadman, a connection with the Panera bakery chain.

“It’s arduous to triumph over shedding a participant like him from a hockey perspective,” Trainer David Quinn stated. “However we’ve were given to be able to do it.”

Allan Kreda contributed reporting.

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