Ranger forward Artemi Panarin is taking time off amid allegations that the Panarin attacked an 18-year-old woman in a bar in 2011.
The charges, which are widely questioned and have been cited as the original source, state that Panarin attacked the woman in a Latvia bar and paid 40,000 € (about $ 48,651) to cover up the situation.
The incident is said to have taken place after Panarin’s team lost a game. The alleged frustrated Panarin is alleged to have beaten the woman and taken her to her hotel room.
Rangers issued a statement in support of Panarin on Monday:
Its totality in Rangers’ statement:
Artemi vehemently and clearly denied any and all allegations in this concoction. This is clearly a threat used against him to be vocal on recent political events. Artemi is visibly shaken and worried and will take some time away from the team. The Rangers fully support Artemi and will work with them to identify the source of these baseless allegations.
The source of the story, Andrei Nazarov, is the former head coach of Panarin in the KHL and a well-known and staunch supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Panarin has been a vocal critic of Putin during his NHL career, as recently as posting a photo of “Freedom” in a caption with Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
The story’s timing is considered questionable, considering Panarin’s recent support of Navalny.
In the story, Nazarov also states that Panarin will also steal from teammates and brag about it.
Panarin has family members who live in Russia.