Las Vegas–Today, Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee provided an update on the Vadim Shipachyov story and his official status with the organization.
In his opening remarks with members of the media, GMGM reported that the organization has officially closed the books on Shipachyov.
“Vadim has voluntarily retired from the NHL and can now play in the KHL with our consent and we’ve provided that consent, he does not require waivers and he can play immediately.” Said McPhee in his opening remarks on closing the books with Shipachyov.
Back on October 28 when Shipachyov was supposed to make his AHL debut with the Wolves organization against the Admirals, Shipachyov had left after the morning practice with Chicago and went back home to Vegas to be with his family.
As a result of leaving Chicago for Vegas, the Golden Knights suspended Shipachyov on October 29 and McPhee explained what happened as a result of the suspension.
“Vadim did not want to put in any time in the American Hockey League level, and he didn’t want to be traded to another club which we could have done he just wanted to go home so we accommodated him and we wish him well, he’s a good player, a good guy and it just didn’t work out for us, for him here.” McPhee said.
The trade option that McPhee was referring to was regarding the potential deal with the Anaheim Ducks who almost tried acquiring Shipachyov from the Golden Knights. The return side that Vegas would have received in that deal was in the ballpark of a 5th rounder (draft class was unknown).
With Shipachyov contract off the books, this has opened up a roster spot for another player within the organization to get the opportunity to play.
Shipachyov originally signed a 2-year deal with the Golden Knights back in May before the 2017 IIHF World Championships worth $9 million and an AAV of $4.5 mil per season.
He only scored 1 goal in three games played this season with the Golden Knights (he scored his only goal in his NHL regular season debut against the Boston Bruins) and had 1 assist in 4 preseason contests with Vegas.
McPhee highlighted his reason for sending Shipachyov back down to the Chicago Wolves.
“He needed to play, everyone here was playing better than he was. He needed to play and we were willing to have him play in Chicago.” McPhee said.
Shipachyov’s NHL rights remain with the Golden Knights until he reaches the age of 35 (similar to that of Ilya Kovalchuk with the New Jersey Devils).
The 30-year-old forward finished third in the KHL scoring race last season with 76 points on 26 goals and 50 assists in 50 games. The 50 assists were the second most in the league. He also had 19 points on four goals and 15 assists in 17 games during the KHL playoffs, helping SKA Saint Petersburg win the league championship for the second time in his career (2017 and 2015).