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Report: Artemiy Panarin Taking Leave of Absence from New York Rangers

New York Rangers v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Larry Brooks has reported that Artemiy Panarin is taking a leave of absence from the team following the release of a story in Russia which alleges he “beat up” an 18-year-old girl in Latvia back in 2011.

Here’s the Rangers’ statement on the matter.

Isabelle Khurshudyan — who used to cover the Washington Capitals and is currently the Washington Post’s foreign correspondent in Moscow — had this to say.

The original story can be found here and requires translation, which in a situation like this can get dicey. It is based on an account of Panarin’s former coach at Vityaz of the KHL, Andrei Nazarov. This story was also run here, although it appears to be an aggregation of the original.

Panarin has been very outspoken in regard to Vladimir Putin on numerous occasions, and most recently spoke out in support of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Malamud goes on to say that while the story is certainly a political hit job, that doesn’t mean it is entirely false, and something that should be able to be investigated.

Aivis Kalniņš, another KHL and European hockey reported weighed in questioning the source, acknowledging the political motivations, but also expressing that more information needs to come out.

Update: 2/22/21 - 1:00 p.m.

This story certainly appears to have a lot of layers, and we should learn more about it in the coming days. As more information becomes available, this story will be updated.

*Story updated Monday, February 22 at 11:41 a.m. to include Rangers’ statement*

*Story updated Monday, February 22 at 1:00 p.m. to include new tweet from Aivis Kalniņš*