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Former Canucks Forward Virtanen Released from KHL Team

Former Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen has been released from his KHL contract with Spartak Moscow.
Jake Virtanen

Jake Virtanen is no longer a member of Spartak Moscow. 

The KHL club announced that Virtanen has been released from the club on Monday afternoon due to a "breach of contract", according to Sport-Express in Russia.

It isn't clear what that means, but the news comes as many players have left the KHL following Russia's invasion of Ukraine earlier this month.

Virtanen played 36 games for Spartak Moscow this season, scoring nine goals and seven assists for 16 points that landed him ninth in overall team scoring. 

As the 25-year-old now searches for a new home, it comes with big challenges.

Virtanen was charged with one count of sexual assault in January stemming from an alleged incident that took place in Sept. 2017, while Virtanen was a member of the Vancouver Canucks. The charges were filed as a result of an investigation undertaken by the Vancouver Police Department in May of 2021 after the alleged victim, a 23-year-old female, came forward about her encounter with the former first-round pick to file an official report. 

The case against Virtanen is currently moving to trial in the British Columbia Supreme Court, with Virtanen's lawyer representing him in front of a judge for the first time back in February. 

With Virtanen's murky legal situation, it is unclear whether another NHL or alternate professional hockey organization will choose to associate themselves with him until the matter is resolved. 

As of now, however, Virtanen's KHL tenure is over. 

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