Vadim Shipachyov Retires from NHLBy Connor Lynch
Former Vegas Golden Knights center Vadim Shipachyov has retired from the NHL after what had become a protracted saga since his signing last May. The 30-year-old signed a two year contract worth $9M.
Shipachyov will return to Russia where he is eligible to play in the Kontinental Hockey League immediately. Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee confirmed the retirement on Thursday. There was a trade to another NHL club in place, which Vadim Shipachyov refused.
McPhee said: “We found a deal in the NHL, he didn’t want to play. He wanted to go home.”
Shipachyov made his first start for Vegas on October 15, scoring a goal in a 3-1 win against the Boston Bruins. On October 29 he was suspended for refusing to report to Chicago in the American Hockey League.
Being sent down to the AHL twice is not what Shipachyov had in mind when he made the move to North America. However, George McPhee says there is nothing wrong with getting games in that division.
“We wanted to work with him. There’s no shame in going to the American Hockey League—75 per cent of the players in this league have played there. He didn’t want to do it and he didn’t want to get traded either.
McPhee sent Shipachyov to Chicago “to see if he could adjust his pace of play to the North American game
“He needed to assimilate a little bit more and work on his pace of play and we were willing to work with him
“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.
“Vadim did not want to put in any time at the American Hockey League level and he didn’t want to be traded to another club, which we could have done.
Despite this, McPhee bears no ill feeling towards Shipachyov.
“He’s a good player and a good guy and it just didn’t work out for us and for him here.
“We wish him well. He’s a good guy and a talented guy. If he wants to come back, he has to wait one year but then it has to go through us—but we wouldn’t stand in his way. We’d do a sign-and-trade and let him play wherever he wants to play. We would make it easy for him. If some other team wants to sign him … we’d make it happen.”
Last year, Shipachyov scored 76 points in 50 games during his ninth season with SKA St, Petersburg. They finished third in the KHL.