New York Rangers star Artemi Panarin accused of 2011 assault

OTTAWA, AM – NOVEMBER 22: Artemi Panarin # 10 of the New York Rangers looks on in a game against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Center on November 22, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova / Freestyle Photography / Getty Images)

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In shocking news, Artemi Panarin will say goodbye to the New York Rangers after allegations about the Russian superstar emerged. The story broke off after an article was published in Panarin’s homeland this morning.

The article, speculated by some as politically motivated retaliation, alleges 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 Larry Brooks of the New York Post and then further investigated by Mollie Walker of the NY Post. Less than an hour ago, Walker tweeted the following:

#NYR is expected to release a statement shortly to respond to news that Artemi Panarin will be leaving the team after an article from Russia alleging he beat up an 18-year-old girl in Russia in 2011

– Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) February 22, 2021

The allegations come from a former Panarin head coach who was with Vitayaz from the KHL, Andrei Nazarov, who has repeatedly criticized Panarin for his outspoken position on the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

– Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) February 22, 2021

Panarin is the top-rated Russian player in the NHL fighting against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Panarin has used his celebrity and social media presence to speak out against the Russian government and restrictions on freedom of expression in the country. In 2019, Panarin went on Youtube to spread his political frustrations. Since then, Panarin, who still has a family in Russia, has been publicly berated for his opinion.

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

I confirmed with #NYR that Artemi Panarin was on vacation. You don’t say much else at the moment, but eyebrows are clearly raised at these allegations that emerged after Panarin spoke out against Putin and he was concerned about the well-being of his family in Russia.

– Vince Z. Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) February 22, 2021

There is no evidence of the situation, but other publications have picked up on the story that is now trending on Twitter.

The New York Rangers have since tweeted the following:

It is currently unknown how long Panarin is expected to be absent from the team. However, from their tweet it appears that the New York Rangers fully support their franchisee. Hopefully the truth will surface sooner rather than later.

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