With just a few weeks remaining until NHL training camps open, any remaining unrestricted free agents on the market might be starting to get a little nervous.
At this point, players will need to assess their options with their agents. They could lower their asking price until they’re cheap enough for a team to fit under the salary cap. Some might accept a professional tryout agreement and attempt to make a team in training camp. Others might consider leaving the NHL altogether to head overseas.
That could be the case for former Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen. While reports early in free agency suggested several NHL teams were interested in Virtanen, including the Carolina Hurricanes, he has yet to sign with an NHL team and a source with the Hurricanes stated the team had "no interest" in Virtanen.
According to a report from Sport24 in Russia, Virtanen has received a contract offer in the KHL.
The translated report says that SKA St. Petersburg, the former team of Canucks prospect Vasily Podkolzin, is negotiating a contract with Virtanen that would pay him 60 million rubles, equivalent to $817,200 USD.
That’s a significant cut in salary from the $2.55 million per season Virtanen received in his last contract, which the Canucks bought out earlier this offseason.
Virtanen was placed on leave by the Canucks in April after an allegation of sexual misconduct came out online. A woman subsequently filed a civil lawsuit against Virtanen in May, as well as a report to the Vancouver Police Department. Her name is being protected in the civil suit.
The suit alleges “the actions of Virtanen were reckless, arrogant, high-handed, abusive and show a callous disregard for the wishes of the plaintiff.”
Virtanen responded to the civil suit in June alleging the two engaged in consensual sexual intercourse.
None of these allegations have been tested or proven in court and Virtanen has previously denied Glacier Media’s attempts for comment, which is his right.