Artemi Panarin Rangers

Artemi Panarin taking a leave of absence from Rangers

2/23 | Three former teammates of Panarin told the NY Post that they never heard of any such incident.

2/22 | 8:07PM: Larry Brooks writes, that according to a source, this was Nazarov “going rouge” and not a sponsored attack from the Russian Government. (NY Post)

4:38PM: Larry Brooks quotes Panarin’s agent as saying, “I unequivocally, categorically deny all of these false allegations coming out of Russia about Artemi. This is false.”


Igor Eronko tweets that the players Panarin was with that night in Riga “say the reports are absolutely false.”

11:32AM: The Rangers have released a statement:

“Artemi vehemently and unequivocally denies any and all allegations in this fabricated story. This is clearly an intimidation tactic being used against him for being outspoken on recent political events. Artemi is obviously shaken and concerned and will take some time away from the team. The Rangers fully support Artemi and will work with him to identify the source of these unfounded allegations.”

10:34 AM: Artemi Panarin is taking a leave of absence from the Rangers, according to Larry Brooks.

From Brooks:

  • Panarin is taking the leave of absence in the “aftermath of political hit piece against him from Russia alleging that he beat up an 18-year-old girl in Russia in 2011. Retribution was feared after Panarin’s Instagram post on 1/21 in support of opposition leader Alexi Navalny with caption ‘Freedom for Navalny.’ Panarin, who has family in Russia, has been outspoken against Putin.’

The allegations are being made by Panarin’s former coach in the KHL, Andrei Nazarov, who is upset that Panarin has been critical of Russia. (KP.RU)

He says that on December 11, 2011, following a 2-0 loss, Panarin went to the Radisson Hotel in Riga, Latvia and “sent an 18-year-old citizen of Latvia to the floor with several powerful blows.” (KP.RU)

Nazarov says that Panarin’s altercation with the woman was covered up, after negotiations with the police, for 40,000 Euros. Nazarov says, that in retrospect, Panarin didn’t “deserve to be saved from punishment by the whole world for beating a girl.” (KP.RU)

On why he is just talking about this now, Nazarov said “there was one unpleasant incident that happened to Artemy in the early 2010s. And I would not have remembered him if not for the behavior of Panarin, with whom we worked closely at Vityaz, which I have recently seen with him in the States.” (KP.RU)

When the reporter mentions that since there was no criminal case, you can assume that “there was no beating of the girl,” Nazarov responds “but there are people who saw it and remember what happened next.”(KP.RU)

Players, with connections to the Rangers, that played in that game and may have heard about the incident, if it happened, include:

  • Vityaz: Nick Tarnasky (2014-16 with Hartford)
  • Riga: Sandis Ozolinsh (Parts of 05-06 and 06-07 with NYR)
  • Riga: Ville Nieminen: (2005-06 with NYR)
  • Jamie Lundmark: (With NYR org from 1999 to 2005-06)
  • Chris Holt: (With NYR org from 2003 to 2008)