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Report: Vladimir Putin in the middle of a shocking NHL controversy.

One KHL insider reports that Putin’s “inner circle” is meddling in NHL affairs.

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The 2016-17 offseason was shaping up to be The Kovalchuk Sweepstakes, that is until the 34 year-old sniper unexpectedly announced that he’d remain in the KHL for another season before returning to the NHL as a free agent in 2018-19.

Rumor had been swirling for weeks, only to die down overnight. So, what the heck happened here? Well, one Russian hockey insider, Slava Malamud has a theory:

Yikes. That’s some scary stuff. Could you imagine President Trump nixing a potential Patrick Kane trade between the Blackhawks and a Canadian franchise? Or, how about we get Habs fans to petition Justin Trudeau for a do-over on the PK Subban trade?

While the accuracy of Malamud’s report cannot be verified, it certainly doesn’t help calm the rumors that Putin and his government are pulling the strings behind the scenes in the KHL.