April 11, 2020

Rangers Roundup: Gretzky calls K’Andre Miller after incident, Panarin’s joke and more

Miller (Charles Wenzelberg)

The weekend is here and for most of us in the NY area it is a beautiful day. Statistics seem be showing a flattening of the curve, so kudos to you NYers and keep up the social distancing! Also a heartfelt thanks to all the healthcare workers, first responders, grocers, and delivery drivers.

Today’s roundup has some important news for you today concerning some recent developments from the K’Andre Miller incident. Also, a Russian interview of Artemi Panarin has been misrepresented by some sites for clicks. Let’s get to it.

Update on Miller Incident

I followed up with a team source with knowledge of the situation and learned that the Zoombomber was tracked outside of the United States. No further developments in identifying who did it and usually these things are difficult to conclude. Zoom has acknowledged their security deficiencies but obviously for many the damage has been done.

The Rangers continue to receive criticism from a few outlets and fans on how they handled the situation as well as some people’s perceived delay in releasing a statement. Here’s what I was able to learn. At the time the incident occurred, K’Andre Miller was doing the Zoom conference from his cellphone and no one was sure if he had seen the offensive comments while answering questions. Shock and hurt was the overwhelming feeling and the Rangers obvious priority before releasing a statement was to talk with all those affected and contact the league to report the incident. Both the Rangers and NHL released statements within a minute of each other.

Madison Square Garden Company continues to be one of the most progressive companies in all of business. They have been on the forefront of many great causes. This isn’t lip service for the Rangers, they truly care about these causes as was once passionately stated to me by the organization.

Wayne Gretzky Called to Check on K’Andre

Team President John Davidson also provided some insight on the Miller situation in his Q&A session this week. One of the nicest things to come out of it was Wayne Gretzky calling the kid to check in on him. It brought a huge smile to his face according to JD.

K’Andre Miller was involved during a chat where comments were made to him which were not appropriate. I would just like to say a special thank you to everyone out there that reached out to K’Andre Miller to express what a good young man he is and what he’s had to go through. I myself on more than one occasion have talked to him and we talked about a lot of different things aside from the incident, his training, and what it takes to be a pro. The other day I said to him, did you have any special calls, anyone that surprised you? He said, “Yup, Wayne Gretzky called me.” When you have people like Wayne Gretzky in this world, who cares about our world (hockey), and for him to make that call it put a great big smile on K’Andre’s face.

John Davidson

Panarin Was Joking

Panarin (Getty Images)

Yesterday, fans reached out to me to check up on a “rumor” that Artemi Panarin threatened to go to the KHL if he had to give up too much salary in the wake of “The Pause”. I talked with KHL reporter Gillian Kemmerer to get her reaction to the interview and work to confirm what Panarin said.

While he did say he “may not play here next year if that’s the case” and “play in the KHL”, he did it jokingly in what was a lighthearted interview from the get go. Somehow this nonsense made it all the way to the NY POST and Larry Brooks who wrote an entire article on it.

“Of course I was kidding,” Panarin said in a text to a Rangers executive that was shared with The Post. “I was laughing.” The Russian outlet, Sports.ru, had picked up an Instagram conversation between Panarin and Aleksandr Kerzhakov, the retired top scorer of the Russian national soccer team, who is currently the head coach of his country’s Under-18 squad.

NYPOST

If you have twitter, you can see my interactions with Gillian on this nonsense story.

MSG Broadcast Schedule

Don’t forget, starting at 2pm today on MSGN, they will be dedicating a full day of coverage around some of the most memorable record-breaking performances in Rangers history. Below is a look at the games throughout the day, along with the records broken that fans can tune in for.

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