Brad Marchand should be fined for Russia dig
Artemi Panarin will have to pay $5,000 — the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement — for chucking his glove at Bruins winger Brad Marchand in the final seconds of the Rangers’ victory in Boston on Friday afternoon.
Panarin confirmed Saturday he indeed was provoked by Russia-related insults made by Marchand — comments the star Rangers winger believes crossed a line.
“That’s why I lost my mind,” Panarin said.
Though it was widely reported, prior to Panarin confirming it, that Marchand had purposely brought up the touchy subject of Russian President Vladimir Putin — whom Panarin has publicly criticized in the past — and suggested that no Russian liked Panarin, the NHL didn’t think the pesky Bruin said anything worthy of disciplining.
Marchand was miked up for the ABC broadcast, The Post confirmed, but if the audio wasn’t aired, then it isn’t stored. Even if it were available to be reviewed, the NHL’s collectively bargained protocol with the NHL Players Association prevents the league from reviewing the audio content for any reason related to potential discipline.
The only way the NHLPA would ever agree to have players wear microphones is if it had that assurance.
In this specific case, a linesman was standing directly between the benches during the exchange. Linesmen and referees are supposed to report if they hear something that warrants the NHL to take action.
The Rangers clearly felt there should have been consequences for Marchand, considering they asked the league to look into his behavior, as The Post’s Larry Brooks reported Friday.
When asked if he felt Marchand also should have been fined, Panarin, in short, said yes.
“Yeah, I think that’s not honest,” he said. “Because I just can’t control myself after that. It’s important to [know] that I didn’t start it. I didn’t say good things about him, too, but I think when you touch country, it’s different. Probably all Russians would want to defend their country.
“In the NHL, lots of people say bad words sometimes. … [But] how do we want to be as humans? For kids and everybody, we have to be good examples. Because, as athletes, lots of people watch us. The last maybe five, ten years, trash talk is pretty popular. But we have kids [watching] who grow up and that’s really important. … I think a balance is important.”
At this point, however, the Rangers certainly aren’t expecting the head of the Department of Player Safety, George Parros, to do them any favors. Parros is likely less inclined to cut the Rangers any breaks after the organization released a scathing statement in the aftermath of his soft discipline of Tom Wilson last season, calling Parros “unfit” to continue in his current role.
Panarin, though, delivered the very punch line that makes the whole situation even more of a joke. No matter how many fines the league hands out, or doesn’t hand out, it never makes a difference. Because, really, what is $5,000 dollars to an NHL player?
“I lost 5K, but thanks to the old general manager for $11.6 [million], I’m good,” Panarin said with a smile.