Golden Knights allow Vadim Shipachyov to seek trade out of Vegas

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The Vegas Golden Knights made a splash in May when they signed KHL star Vadim Shipachyov to a two-year, $9 million contract before the franchise even drafted a roster.

Five months later, that relationship looks to be coming to an end. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports on Wednesday that the Golden Knights have given Shipachyov and his agent permission to seek a trade out of Sin City.

The 30-year-old Shipachyov, who went 26-50—76 in 50 KHL games last season, has played in only three of Vegas’ eight games this season and has been demoted to their AHL affiliate in Chicago twice, including just before opening night. That first demotion led to rumors he was seeking to return to Russia, something that general manager George McPhee and the player’s agent denied.

Plenty of team could use center help, but the term of Shipachyov’s contract will prove to make the job tougher in finding a suitable trade partner. On a one-year deal, it could be worth the gamble for a team. That second year, however? Tough to swallow when you have a 30-year-old who’s new to the North American game carrying a $4.5 million cap hit next season.

The good thing for the Golden Knights is while the move appears to have failed, it hasn’t and won’t be a distraction to the 7-1-0 expansion side. However and whenever this plays out, it hasn’t affected the play on the ice and it’s clear, in the eyes of McPhee and head coach Gerard Gallant that his place on the depth chart is that of a player not worthy of regular time in an NHL lineup.

Shipachyov was sent down again on Tuesday, but he may not end up in Chicago depending on how this situation plays out. He could be dealt, fail to report and be suspended or work out a deal to go back to Russia. It will be curious to see how this plays out.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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