Last week speculation popped up surrounding Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov and his present location as a game of political chicken has broken out between his home country of Russia and, well, everybody else...but specifically the United States.
Concern surfaced last week when reports out of Russia highlighted a goaltending prospect for the Philadelphia Flyers who had been detained as he attempted to leave the country. Ivan Fedotov was arrested and taken to a Military naval camp in northern Russia for allegedly evading mandatory military service. Kaprizov gets tied into this situation as the pair played on the same team years ago when Fedotov reportedly purchased a fake military ID and it's being questioned whether Kirill did as well.
According to Michael Russo of The Athletic, Kaprizov has attempted to return to the United States two times now and was barred access on both occasions.
According to league sources, Kaprizov left Russia recently for Dubai and tried to return to the U.S. He couldn’t clear into the U.S., though, perhaps because he doesn’t currently have a work visa despite signing a five-year contract last September. As The Athletic reported July 1, several Europeans — not just Russians — were given exceptions to play last season without visas because U.S. consulates were inundated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kaprizov, sources say, tried to cross the ocean by way of Caribbean Islands after not succeeding in the Dubai route. Again, he wasn’t permitted. Kaprizov then returned to Russia, where he remains.
Rightfully so, members of the Minnesota Wild coaching staff and front office are monitoring this situation closely as it becomes a bite more concerning by the day.