NHL Rumors: Shipachyov heading back to Russia

Vadim Shipachyov’s dream of playing in the NHL is over.

Shipachyov, 30, has decided to leave the Vegas Golden Knights — and the NHL all together — to head back home to Russia, according to Sportsnet’s Eric Engels.

The Golden Knights signed Shipachyov to a two-year contract on May 4. When the deal was finalized, Golden Knights general manager George McPhee had high hopes for the Russian goal-scorer who was among scoring leaders on SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League a season ago.  

“We believe (Shipachyov) can be an impact player in the NHL,” McPhee said. 

Shipachyov couldn’t leave that impression on the Golden Knights organization. After playing the majority of Vegas’ preseason slate, Shipachyov totaled a mere point. A decision was made that Shipachyov be left off the Golden Knights opening night roster and begin the season with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. 

Shipachyov never found a full-time role with Vegas. He was called up when forward Jonathan Marchessault missed time due to an injury, and even scored in his NHL debut. When Marchessault returned, hosever, Shipachyov was sent back to AHL Chicago. Shipachyov’s boiling point occured on Oct. 29 in his latest assignment when he never reported to Chicago. He opted to stay in Las Vegas with his family, according to Engels.

Even though they granted his representatives permission to seek a trade, the Golden Knights were running out of options in the situation. Shipachyov was suspended after bailing on Chicago. 

The Golden Knights now have to wait for Shipachyov’s contract is terminated. He was set to make $4 million in the NHL, while his contract carries a $4.5 million cap-hit. Shipachyov held the fifth-highest average salary among forwards.

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