Rangers practice buzz: Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko updates, David Quinn and Ryan Strome express support for Artemi Panarin

By Anthony Scultore
Jan 22, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) reacts with center Filip Chytil (72) after scoring a goal against Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers had a skate today under some very difficult circumstances. Allegations out of a Russian tabloid against Artemi Panarin led to a leave of absence and a statement of support from the Rangers.

“Artemi vehemently and unequivocally denies any and all allegations in this fabricated story,” a team statement reads. “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.”

David Quinn briefly addresses Panarin situation

panarin putin
Jan 14, 2021; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) plays the puck against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

“We’re just going to stick with the statement,” David Quinn said. “We’re going to be here for him…I was proud of our guys and the way they handled a difficult situation today.”

Ryan Strome was also made available to the media and had some positive words for Panarin.

“We see him behind closed doors every day and the personality and the way he carries himself and his character and his attitude. He’s just an all-around unbelievable person,” he said. “I think for us just give him this time, give him the space and whatever happens, whatever the timeline may be, we’ll welcome him back with more than open arms.”

Injury Updates

Filip Chytil is mending and has also come off the COVID protocol list. The Rangers head coach said that Chytil will start skating soon. Chytil is 4 weeks into a possible 6 week healing timetable.

As for Kaapo Kakko, he remains on the COVID list with limited information that can be passed along. Quinn said Kakko is doing fine but unsure of when he will be back.

Latest NHL Rumors

A fresh batch of rumors are out and it’s still all about Eichel.