According to a report from French-language Swiss newspaper Le Matin, EHC Visp of the Swiss second division have removed former NHLer Jake Virtanen from their roster after an "altercation with a teammate on the bench near the end of a game".
Virtanen joined the team in November after being dumped by the NHL's Edmonton Oilers during pre-season. Virtanen, of course, had previously been with his hometown Vancouver Canucks before being bought out of his contract in 2021 amidst a sexual assault scandal. Virtanen was found not guilty by a jury this past offseason and, again, attempted to resume his NHL career with the Oilers before being cut loose.
Some snippets from La Matin (translated from French):
The Swiss League star player has failed to fit in the dressing room and got into a fight with a teammate during a game at La Chaux-de-Fonds. He has landed on the trade market.
Within the Upper Valais Swiss League club, it was his selfish attitude that irritated his teammates and forced management to make him available on the trade market. According to several sources, Virtanen has the profile of a gifted player who however focuses on his own production and the success above the team’s.
“For him, the back of the jersey (his name) is worth more than the front of the jersey ( the logo )”. In 21 games with Visp, he has recorded 14 goals. “But he has difficulty giving up his spot after 1:20 shift on the power play,” explained a player from the same league.
The incident, most likely irreparable, occurred shortly before the end of a regular season 5-1 loss against La Chaux-de-Fonds at the Mélèzes arena. A few minutes before the final buzzer, as the head coach of the Upper Valais club Marco Schüpbach benched him, Jake Virtanen got in a verbal and physical altercation with teammate, Daniel Eigenmann (31 years old) .
The Zurich defender then contacted management of the team, which sits in fourth place with 72 points in 45 games. According to two sources, Eigenmann gave the team an ultimatum: it’s him or us (the team).
The Lonza Arena Lions management does not wish to comment on these allegations. However, it confirms that Jake Virtanen is on the market.
- Le Matin
If getting kicked off a 2nd division Swiss team for fighting a teammate doesn't put an end to Virtanen's pro career I'm not sure anything will...