Canucks’ Virtanen on leave amid sexual misconduct inquiry

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Vancouver Canucks placed right wing Jake Virtanen on leave Saturday following allegations of sexual misconduct.

The team said in a statement it “does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and the claims as reported are being treated very seriously.” The Canucks added that they have “engaged external expertise” to assist in an independent investigation and are awaiting more information.

The NHL said it is aware of the unspecified allegations and will not comment until the investigation is complete. Neither Virtanen nor his representatives could immediately be reached for comment.

Virtanen, a 24-year-old Canadian, was drafted sixth overall by Vancouver in 2014. He has five goals in 28 games with the Canucks this season.

The Canucks play the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday night.

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