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Wild's Kaprizov reportedly in U.S. after Russian drama

The news is a relief for hockey fans who feared a showdown with the Russian government over military service would keep the star winger in his home country.

ST PAUL, Minn — The international drama between Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov and the Russian government appears to over - or at least on the back burner - as reports are swirling that the high-scoring winger will be back in Minnesota Tuesday. 

Multiple NHL sources are telling The Athletic hockey beat writer Michael Russo that Kaprizov was able to get back to the U.S. by traveling from Russia to Turkey, then hopping a flight to New York. Russo says the Wild star is expected to arrive in Minnesota sometime Tuesday, more than a month earlier than expected, but he will be here to prepare for the 2022-23 season. 

Kaprizov's status has been the cause of great concern throughout the Wild's organization and fan base, after reports he was being investigated in Russia for allegedly purchased a fake military ID card in 2017, accusations Russo says have been largely refuted. Concerns lingered, however, that the Russian government would not allow him to leave or the U.S. would deny him entry due to political or visa concerns. 

"Kaprizov was caught up in a chilling political game over which the Wild had little to no control over his future," Russo wrote in a column Monday. "Wild owner Craig Leipold and general manager Bill Guerin both said publicly they would remain nervous until Kaprizov was back safely in the United States."

RELATED: Wild GM Guerin says Kirill Kaprizov is fine, still in Russia

The All-Star winger's status is incredibly important to the Wild, who lost 85 points from the lineup when forward Kevin Fiala was traded to the L.A. Kings. Kaprizov notched a team-record 108 points last season (47 goals, 61 assists), and missing him for any amount of time would be devastating to the Wild's Stanley Cup hopes.  

KARE 11 is following this story and will have the latest developments as they become available.

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