In case you missed it earlier this offseason, Arizona Coyotes forward Richard Panik was arrested at a Scottsdale, Arizona establishment after refusing to leave despite being removed from the premises by the manager. The local police department was called in in an attempt to have the clearly inebriated Panik move along. When he failed to comply, he was placed under arrest and was later released on a criminal citation.
Panik, who has no criminal history, has subsequently pleaded guilty to criminal trespassing charges and will repay his debt to society by completing an undisclosed government program. The guy made a mistake, owned up to it and is now currently repaying his debt. But… of course athletes don’t get off quite so easily in the court of public option. Enter: tabloid giant TMZ.
TMZ Sports released video of Panik’s arrest from the past April and… the resulting clip is unbelievable. Panik pleads with officers several times and reiterates over and over, “I play for the Coyotes.” We can only presume that Panik felt his celebrity could help him earn some sort of special treatment from the law.
In any case, you can check out the video below:
Ugh… that’s tough to watch. The guy is clearly out of it and means no ill will toward anyone. He's just a stubborn, old drunk... we've all been there. Just go home! Especially when the officer is telling you to go home!
Hopefully Panik can put this whole mess behind himself and get back to doing what he does best: filling the net. The 27 year old Slovakian sniper scored 14 goals and 35 points split between the Coyotes and the Chicago Blackhawks last season. It’s expected that he’ll play alongside newcomer Alex Galchenyuk in Arizona this season, which will be Panik’s first full season in the desert since being acquired for youngster Anthony Duclair. Prior to last season Panik broke out big time as he piled up 22 goals and 44 points in 82 games playing alongside Blackhawks set up man Patrick Kane. While reaching those totals with the Coyotes seems unlikely in 2018-19, the big Slovak has shown that he has the ability.