Later today, I’ll share my thoughts about the crazy Artemi Panarin story that was broken by NY Post reporter Larry Brooks yesterday.
He will be taking a “leave of absence” from the New York Rangers for an uncertain amount of time due to a questionable rumor started by former KHL head coach Andrei Nazarov. A former NHL goon with an iffy reputation who accused Panarin of assaulting an 18-year old girl in 2011 when he was 19.
From reading tweets of Russian hockey reporters close to the story, it sounds like made up nonsense to smear Panarin’s name due to his political beliefs. He doesn’t support Russian President Vladimir Putin. This looks to be a deliberate attack by Nazarov to damage his former player.
When it comes to Russia and politics, it’s a lot more serious than anything in the United States of America. We are allowed to voice our own opinions and beliefs due to freedom of speech, religion and press. When it comes to Russia, a lot of that is off limits. I’ve seen people I follow on Instagram video protests stemming from last year during an election. They’ve even made their thoughts known.
Russia doesn’t play games. Whatever is going on with Panarin, he had no choice but to take timeout from his hockey career in NYC to address a much more important and personal issue off the ice. I can only hope and pray everything will be okay for him and his family back home.
I’ll have more on this insane story later with the appropriate quotes, tweets and more from Brooks, Mollie Walker, the Rangers and those key Russian insiders who all but shot down the rumor. Here’s my message for Artemi which should be steadfast.
Я поддерживаю Артемия Панарина!
I Stand With Artemi Panarin!