Thoughts on the Artemi Panarin leave of absence from the Rangers

In case you missed it, and I don’t know how you could have, Artemi Panarin has taken a leave of absence from the Rangers. This is to address the Russian propaganda piece that said he beat up an 18 year old girl in a Latvian bar in 2011. The length of his absence is unknown at the moment, but it will likely be until he can ensure the safety of his family. As per usual, I have some thoughts on its impact to the Rangers. This is not about the politics involved, and comments addressing such matter should be posted in yesterday’s post. I will remove political comments from this post.

1. From a hockey perspective, this is a big loss for the Rangers. The Rangers have not won without Panarin in the lineup. It’s only three games, but still they are winless. Panarin is the driver of almost all things offense on the Rangers. He has the quietest 18 points in 14 games (105 point pace) I’ve ever seen. He draws attention, and he still produces regardless.

2. If there ever was a time for Mika Zibanejad to step up, now is that time. Zibanejad is gripping the stick too tight, and it shows on his one-timers. He’s shanked a bunch that would normally have been in the back of the net. Perhaps that empty netter is what he needed. With Panarin out, and that monkey off his back, a tear by Zibanejad is just what the doctor ordered.

3. The Rangers may be able to survive this in the short term if they continue to play stellar defense. I can’t believe these words are coming out of my mouth. The Rangers have been playing stellar team defense. The keys are two fold. The first is D2 is not chasing the puck and is staying in front of the net. The second is F1/F3 are in their proper spots covering high danger passes. If this continues, then the Rangers may be able to bore teams to death.

4. If the Rangers go with a recall in the short term, they might not make one immediately. The Blueshirts don’t play until Wednesday, and they are still making taxi squad moves to accrue cap space. Jonny Brodzinski was moved to the taxi squad yesterday, and that is something to keep an eye on. The Rangers don’t need to recall him until Wednesday 5pm, and if he’s the recall, he comes at minimum salary as well.

5. This has been a disaster of a season for the Rangers. After so much hope with K’Andre Miller breaking camp, everything else that could have gone wrong, did. First it was the Filip Chytil injury. Then it was Tony DeAngelo getting fired into the sun. Jacob Trouba went down after that. Now it’s Panarin’s turn in things you can’t make up that are keeping Rangers out of the lineup. The fact that the Rangers have six wins is a minor miracle.

6. There is no timeline for Artemi Panarin’s leave of absence from the Rangers. Given he took the leave of absence two days before the Rangers had a game, it’s safe to assume it will be a few games. I wouldn’t expect him back until next week.

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  • this is a bizarre and unfortunate situation. I don’t believe this story myself. I hope his family is safe. Wishing breadman the best in these tough times. Obviously a huge hit to The Rangers. We may get an emotionally driven win tomorrow night.

    It’s shame we live in a world where someone can just throw some unsubstantiated claim against someone else and now the unsubstantiated claim needs to be defended.

  • Obviously this is a massive blow to the team, as Panarin seems to be the only player that generates offense on an elite level.
    Regarding your point about the Rangers Team D being tighter this year, I read after last game that they ranked 7th in team defense GAA. Unfortunately they ranked 25th in team offense GFA. Quite a flip flop from last season.

    I don’t see any politically charged article from yesterday, Dave. I only see Down On The Farm and Fan Confidence Poll articles.

  • As for the NYR, it is unclear if players like Zibby, Kreider and even LaFren step up. I do like the idea of bringing Barron up and seeing if Kraftsov would come over. Otherwise, I fear we see Smith as a 4th line winger.

    His absence is going to hurt.

    EDIT BY DAVE: Removed the Russia piece – I understand the concern for Panarin’s family, which is likely why he took his leave of absense. But please keep that in the other post yesterday. Trying to keep this one focused on the Rangers only. Also deleted all three replies to this because apparently people can’t follow a simple request.

  • Yes … and that hit piece was quickly dismissed — it also wasn’t the crux of Tony’s issues as far as the team was concerned. This on the other hand was a one source story and that source is a known crazy.

  • Let’s not Russian to conclusions here.

    It’s next man up. Whomever can start Putin the puck in the net needs to stepup.

  • The FACT is that there are only a few people who know what did or did not happen 10 years ago. Another FACT is that this leave of absence, as a result of the article takes away our top player.

    The NYR are in some trouble at the moment.

  • On hockey, it’s a big loss to us! The bigger picture is Family is more important than hockey every time.(get your family safe)
    Now more than ever Zib,Kreids have to step up big time,since we don’t know how long Panarin will be away? Hopefully only about a week.
    we also still don’t know about Kakko no timetable with him either.
    So now that’s 2 big pieces..
    Hopefully adversity will just make us stronger,more resolve as a team.

  • You can’t replace a guy like the Breadman as we all know. You can only hope to get some more production from the people that are still playing.

    Zibanejad is skating better. But yeah, those shanked shots reveal a guy who is pressing. You have to love his intense desire to score, but he needs to relax and let it flow. Hopefully he comes around soon.

    Lafrenière has gotten the monkey off his back with a couple of goals too, so he just might help too. At least the team is playing much better team defense. So Jacques seems to be having a positive effect!

  • They could survive for a time without him, but when you add in that we’re already missing Chytil, Kakko and DeAngelo at the same time, that Mika’s game is off, etc. well it will make things difficult. These are legitimate circumstances to explain any decline in play, not “excuses”.

    That said it’s a great opportunity for some younger players to step up, like Laffy and Gauthier … and an opportunity for a veteran or two to show us what “captain material” really means (talking to you Kreids and Mika). We’ll need some great goaltending and the defense will have to play with a lot of structure. Stranger things have happened.

  • “This is not about the politics involved, and comments addressing such matter should be posted in yesterday’s post. I will remove political comments from this post.”

    Dave – appreciated – Thank You –

  • it’s an opportunity for the team to galvanize around him, by stepping up and reaching back to bring their games to new levels.

    I, like all of us, hope this is just another nothing burger in our new world filled with massive oceans of disinformation.


  • “The Rangers may be able to survive this in the short term if they continue to play stellar defense. I can’t believe these words are coming out of my mouth. The Rangers have been playing stellar team defense.”

    In my model of the Rangers, this was the expectation, not a surprise. This was always the anticipated result of Lundqvist’s departure. Between Hank’s lack of contribution to the defensive structure and the attempts to set the defense to his strengths and wishes, the Rangers have been doomed to a weak defense in front of a stellar puck stopper. His departure guaranteed a new structure – with or without Martin.

    I must grudgingly admit however that Shesty cannot match Hank in the department of stopping shots.

  • This loss if one of the best players in the game just gives the team a chance to prove if turning the team into a college team was the wrong way to go in the first place and it gives this piss shit of a college coach to see if all his barking and yelling will or not make a difference but all in all it’s Chris krieder who will carry the team on his back he is without a doubt the best player to be given the leadership roll

  • silver lining if there can be one that hopefully these players and coaches all take to heart how important it is to have a strong system to fall back on when the wheels come off and you can’t count on individual performances from two players to score 100 points each. next man up for sure but that needs to happen within the context of a solid framework that allows room for some to elevate their games but if not at least the train doesn’t completely run off the rails.

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