According to reports out of Switzerland, Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen has irritated his EHC Visp teammates and will not be joining the team for the Swiss League playoffs, which begin later this month.
Swiss newspaper Le Matin reported on Tuesday (Feb. 7) that Virtanen alienated his teammates and got into a fight on the bench with Daniel Eigenmann during a game on Jan. 31.
Following that altercation, Eigenmann reportedly contacted EHC Visp management and stated that either Virtanen has to go or the rest of the team will quit. Virtanen did not dress in the final two regular season games for EHC Visp and management later confirmed to the newspaper that he is available for other teams to acquire.
Swiss newspaper Le Nouvelliste stated that the argument between Virtanen and Eigenmann began because Eigenmann felt that Virtanen was playing selfishly.
As a result, EHC Visp has acquired foreigners Brayden Burke and Chris Dodero for the playoff run. Teams in the Swiss League can have a maximum of five foreign players. It’s believed that Virtanen is available for any team in the league to pick up, but no teams have chosen to add him.
The News did reach out to Virtanen’s agent Kevin Epp for more details, but he has not yet replied.
Virtanen recorded 25 points (15 goals and 10 assists) to go with 44 penalty minutes in 21 games. He ranked third on the team in goals and sixth in points.
He did sign a two-year contract with EHC Visp back in November, but it is unclear what this suspension potentially means for that deal.
He also inked a professional tryout with the Edmonton Oilers in September, but he failed to earn a spot on that team. He appeared in six preseason games with the Oilers and collected two assists to go along with six shots on goal. His final appearance with the team was when the Oilers played the Canucks in Abbotsford on Oct. 5. \
In 2021-22 he played 36 games in the Kontinental Hockey League with HC Spartak Moscow and recorded 16 points.
Virtanen went to trial this summer after being charged with sexual assault and was found not guilty of sexual assault on July 26.