Canucks place Jake Virtanen on leave after sexual misconduct allegations

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Steven Psihogios
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The Vancouver Canucks announced on Saturday that the organization has placed forward Jake Virtanen on leave after allegations of sexual misconduct. (Getty)
The Vancouver Canucks placed forward Jake Virtanen on leave while the team investigates recent allegations of sexual misconduct. (Getty)

The Vancouver Canucks announced on Saturday that the organization has placed forward Jake Virtanen on leave after allegations of sexual misconduct.

“We have become aware of the concerning allegations made about Jake Virtanen,” a statement from the team read.

“Our organization does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and the claims as reported are being treated very seriously by us. We have engaged external expertise to assist in an independent investigation and we have placed the player on leave as we await more information."

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The allegations were first reported by Alanna Kelly of Glacier Media. Kelly did not release the identity of Virtanen’s accuser, but it was disclosed that the alleged incident occurred at a Vancouver hotel in September 2017.

“I couldn’t believe that I said no and he didn’t take that for an answer,” the accuser said. “I felt violated and gross and wanted to leave.”

Per Kelly, Virtanen declined to comment, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly did briefly speak on the matter.

“We are aware of this issue and have been in contact with the club regarding appropriate response,” Daly said. “We don’t have any further comment at this time.”

Virtanen, 24, was born in Langley, British Columbia and is in his sixth season with the Canucks.

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