Player Who Was Kicked Out of the NHL Writes Emotional Letter to Vladimir Putin

Published July 11, 2023 at 11:58 PM

In the present era marked by divergence, a divide remains even though Russian ice hockey players participate in North America, and Americans do the same in Russia. Brendan Leipsic, originally from Manitoba, has made Russia his new home, and has now appealed to Vladimir Putin to formalize his residency status.

A Controversial NHL Tenure

Leipsic's time in the NHL came to an end after offensive misogynistic remarks he made in an Instagram group chat came to light. His unbecoming conduct and disrespectful comments about his teammates and their spouses led many to believe that he was a toxic influence in the locker room. It was widely felt that he had no right to be part of hockey, be it in North America or elsewhere.

"The National Hockey League strongly condemns the misogynistic and reprehensible remarks made by players Brendan Leipsic and Jack Rodewald.... There is no place in our league for such statements, attitudes and behaviour, no matter the forum,"

In spite of his troubles in the NHL, Leipsic has managed to carve out a place for himself in Russia.

Leipsic Pursues Russian Citizenship

Following a five-season stint in the NHL, Brendan Leipsic joined CSKA, a team in the KHL. After spending two years in Magnitogorsk, he transitioned to SKA St. Petersburg, where he is expected to play with up-and-coming star Matvei Michkov.

Despite growing geopolitical tensions, Leipsic has evidently found contentment in Russia. Roman Rotenberg, Deputy Chair of the KHL, disclosed that Leipsic has applied for Russian citizenship.

"Very soon there will be one more Russian citizen on our team. SKA newcomer Brendan Leipsic expressed his desire to take Russian citizenship and wrote a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin."

"It's no secret that in North America he faced bias and injustice, but in Russia he's felt exceptional support from fans, coaches and partners all these years. His favorite player is Alexander Ovechkin, and in Canada he grew up watching our great hockey players like Pavel Bure play. Perhaps Brendan himself will someday play in a Russian national team uniform."

Although his performance in the NHL was only of replacement level, he has thrived in Russia, where his past misdemeanors seem to be less of a concern. It's comforting that he has found joy in his new home, given that the NHL isn't keen on his return.

As Read on Blade of Steel - Former NHLer Leipsic Pens Letter to Putin with Special Request
July 11   |   208 answers
Player Who Was Kicked Out of the NHL Writes Emotional Letter to Vladimir Putin

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