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Report: Ex-Canuck Jake Virtanen on the outs with Swiss club after dust-up with teammate
By Mike Gould1 year ago
Former Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen is reportedly headed for a “most likely irreparable” split with Swiss League club EHC Visp after getting into an altercation with teammate Daniel Eigenmann during a game late last month.
According to a report by Swiss outlet Le Matin, Virtanen, who has 15 goals and 25 points in 21 games this season, got into a “verbal and muscular altercation” with Eigenmann on the bench in the dying minutes of Visp’s 5–1 loss to HC La Chaux-de-Fonds on Jan. 31.
Since then, Virtanen has sat out Visp’s last two games as a healthy scratch and has been placed on the trade block. Visp competes in the second tier of Swiss professional men’s hockey; since Virtanen’s removal from the lineup, the club has won back-to-back contests while outscoring their opposition 9–2.
Eigenmann reportedly presented Visp management with an ultimatum on behalf of his teammates — “it’s him or us” — after the events of the Jan. 31 game. Now, it appears Visp is more than comfortable to leave Virtanen behind even as they approach the Swiss League playoffs.
The Canucks originally selected Virtanen in the first round (No. 6 overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft. The former Calgary Hitmen star had an uneven tenure with the Canucks, peaking with 18 goals and 36 points in the 2019–20 season before plummeting down to just five points the following year. The Canucks bought out Virtanen’s contract in July 2021.
After the Canucks placed Virtanen on leave in May 2021 in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations made against him, Vancouver police ultimately charged him with one count of sexual assault. In July 2022, a B.C. jury found Virtanen not guilty.
Virtanen spent the 2021–22 season with the KHL club Moscow Spartak before signing a two-year deal with Visp in November 2022. The 26-year-old winger also briefly appeared in the Edmonton Oilers’ 2022 training camp on a professional tryout, although he was unable to secure another NHL contract.
Through 317 career games with the Canucks, Virtanen recorded 55 goals and 100 points. It’d certainly be very surprising to see him return to the NHL, and this latest dust-up in Switzerland certainly doesn’t help his case.
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