When I think of all the brutal things that I could wake up to on Monday morning, the Panarin news is easily top of the list. Artemi Panarin is taking leave after it was reported that in 2011 he allegedly assaulted an 18-year-old girl in Latvia. Obviously, new information will break on this story, but for starters, let’s see what facts we have:
Panarin reportedly beat up an 18-year-old
He was very outspoken about the need for change in Russian politics.
To me, Panarin is the best hockey player on the planet.
As more details come out, it’s becoming clear to me that there is a chance these allegations are nothing more than Panarin getting into a bar fight while on the road with his team in the KHL, and the story has only been publicized because of Andrei Nazarov and Putin himself. But we won’t know for sure until more details come out, of course.
The Russian Mob
Nazarov has had his finger on this guy for a while now. He is currently a coach in the KHL but is also a massive supporter of Vladimir Putin. Panarin has been dumping on Russia for its lack of everything regarding freedom compared to the US. It comes down to the fact that this entire country is bananas, and the Russian Gas can’t keep guys safe forever. Nazarov and the rest won’t hesitate to take action against them or their families.
Putin has tried building relationships with NHL guys for a while and has befriended stars like Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. Panarin went another route and decided to support the opposition via an Instagram post. A bold move from the Breadman.
The Rangers reported this morning that Panarin denies any involvement in these actions. He also believes that this is retaliation for some of his comments on Russia in the past. Obviously, if Panarin assaulted a young woman, he should face some punishment. His status as the best hockey player on earth can step aside for a moment. If this is not the case and he is being set up, I sure as hell hope he and his family stay safe and keep a low profile.
I’m all for freedom of speech and Jackie Moon’s ELE, but when u chirp Vladimir Putin, you better be ready for the smoke. The dude puts on a hockey game every year just so he can score at will. Messing with this guy will cause more issues than solve. Change is needed, but Panarin is needed as an NYR star, not a political activist. The country filled with Bear’s on Unicycles doesn’t take very kindly to those who oppose their beliefs. Hopefully, everyone involved is safe, and this gets resolved as quickly as possible.