I’m not trying to make this into a Golden Knights blog, but they’re just so new and shiny and so many moving parts– you just have to talk about them. And that’s the case now with Vadim Shipachyov and their turmoil with him.
Now, when the Golden Knights signed Shipachyov, he was the bonafide first player. All due respect to Reid Duke, but Shipachyov had some kind of foundation coming into the Vegas fold. Nine seasons in the KHL, multiple National team appearances in the World Championships, and one of those guys with the tag of “best not in the NHL.” There was some buzz around him and many thought he could be a big contributor to the team.
Then the expansion draft happened. And then training camp. And then the start of the season. And Shipachyov has only appeared in three of the eight games and now his agent has been told to seek a trade elsewhere since Shipachyov is not happy with a demotion to the Chicago Wolves in the AHL.
There is a sound reason for Shipachyov’s annoyance with the demotion, but there’s a sound reason for the Golden Knights want to have him in the AHL. Shipachyov is 30 years old and has accomplished a lot in the KHL, so why would he want to go ahead and play in the AHL when Vegas brought him over to play in the NHL…or so he thought.
When the blades hit the ice, the Golden Knights were much better than they could have thought. Not only that, but Shipachyov hasn’t taken to the North American game as they would have hope, so why not send him down to get used to it?? Well, because he’s a 30-year-old with a number of professional years under his belt– like I said in the previous paragraph.
Should the Knights find a suitor for Shipachyov, depending on the return, they should go ahead and grant him freedom. Look, he doesn’t do your organization any good being a bad apple in the development system you just started. It’s not like a Danny Cleary situation where he gets sent down to teach– Shipachyov wants a career and it’s obvious that the Knights don’t have him in the immediate plans, so he’s checked out. If they can get a solid return, it’d be great to have him elsewhere while not causing a headache for those involved. Plus, as a new team, you don’t want to have the history of being hardasses when it comes to trying to get out of there if you don’t fit in.