Vegas Golden Knights Send Center Vadim Shipachyov to the AHL, Because…Reasons?

By Kyle Morrison on October 9, 2017 at 8:32 pm
Golden Knights center Vadim Shipyachov
Stephen R. Sylvanie – USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Rogers once said you have to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.

As a shitty milennial, I’ve admittedly never listened to that song. I’m beginning to think that Vegas GM George McPhee hasn’t, either.

The Golden Knights knew that they weren’t going to get high-end, productive talent through the expansion draft (with the exception of Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal), so they went out and inked KHL superstar Vadim Shipachyov to a two-year deal. And now, the Golden Knights are 2-0. He must be pretty good, right?

*checks box scores*

Huh, he hasn’t played. Weird. Maybe he’s banged up?

*checks roster*

Uh. George. Don’t tell me you–

*checks AHL roster*


That, predictably, led to this:

Now, the team (and Shipachyov's agent, Petr Svoboda) have now denied this report (and it wasn't corroborated by any established NHL insiders), so there's probably nothing here. Still, it's a head-scratcher. 

The Golden Knights held all the cards (sorry) back in June, getting draft picks in exchange for laying off of talented young players (hi, Blue Jackets!), or in return for taking on an albatross contract (hi again, Blue Jackets!).

But the tables turned, and when it came time for Vegas to offload some of their expansion picks, well, George McPhee opted to hold ‘em.

McPhee has been trying to ship out defensemen for a while now, and hasn't had any takers just yet. Rather than losing one for nothing on waivers, Vegas is now playing without a top forward. But these are players they're presumably looking to part with regardless – and who don't have much trade value to begin with – so, what's the point? 

The optics here are less than ideal, so McPhee spent the afternoon predictably backtracking.

McPhee’s explanation is fine on the surface, but Shipachyov crossed the Pacific to play in the NHL. While he’s not *actually* playing in the AHL, he *did* have to miss the first two games in club history – a club on which he’s supposed to be a building block.

Beyond that, the official club stance is now “the player didn’t understand that it was just a paper move” that was made for roster reasons that are questionable at best. Not ideal! 

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