Flashiness is Artemi Panarin's identity on the ice. Off the ice, he is anything but.
In his first interview since he was traded from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Panarin opened up about multiple topics while speaking to SovSport.ru. Most importantly, he shed light on how he reacted when he first heard the news.
(NOTE: The entire interview was conducted in Russian and Google Translate was used. Interpretations and conclusions based on the conversation would be without context)
When Panarin was asked what his first reaction was to being traded:
Not a very pleasant reaction. I understand that nothing terrible has happened. And I think that everything is for the best. But it turned out so unexpectedly that I fell into a light confusion. I do not know how to call this state. However, a lot of thoughts began to circulate in my head. How to move there? What to do? How? Why?
It took a day, and the next morning I realized that there was no problem. This can happen to every NHL player. But understand, there were no rumors! I did not have time to prepare mentally. Would perceive the news without problems.
When asked how quickly he called former Blue Jacket Artem Anisimov about Columbus:
"I did not call at first." My phone was not available during the first hours, and I put it away. By the way, many thanks to those who supported me in this situation. I repeat that the transition to "Columbus" - not a problem at all. But warm words are always important. And it gave strength. I'm sorry that I did not get in touch. But I saw that they wrote to me on the Internet, read the comments of other players.
When asked if he approached Sergei Bobrovsky about his number:
Maybe the NHL will allow us to take it in turn through the game? I did not even ask Sergei, of course. It is clear that a person is older than me. For a long time playing in the NHL. In general, the goalkeeper with two "Vezina". I have zero chances!
When asked how he came to his current number "9":
I took the nine, folding seven and two. I remember that I once played in the national team under this number. And in general, I love how he looks. I'm not that superstitious. I take numbers that I like.