Shortly before Sunday’s matinee against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers announced that star winger Artemi Panarin was placed in COVID-19 protocol along with assistant coach Mike Kelly.
The 30-year-old is naturally the Rangers’ most sizable loss to COVID so far this season — though the team had not been as impacted by the virus as many other teams around the league.
Panarin continued to prove his worth as the Rangers’ most valuable player and one of the top playmakers in the NHL this season. Through his first 31 games this season, he posted 10 goals and 26 assists for a team-leading 36 points, which is tied for eighth-best in the NHL this season.
In a corresponding move, Morgan Barron was recalled from the Rangers’ taxi squad.