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Closing The Book On The Story That Was Vadim Shipachyov

We have to use a bunch of pictures in this post…(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

On May 4th, 2017 the Vegas Golden Knights signed the 2nd player in franchise history and their first on a one-way NHL contract. Seven months later that very same player retired from world’s best league after playing in three regular season games, totaling less than 32 minutes on the ice, and scoring only a single goal.

Just like that, the Vadim Shipachyov era in Las Vegas, and the NHL, is over.

He was a player many believed would be the most talented offensive player on the Golden Knights roster this season. A player that was supposed to be a top six forward, a power play wizard, and was even expected at the time he was signed to chip in on the penalty kill.

As it turned out, he was none of that.

He just wanted to go home. -George McPhee

Because this is the last time…(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In the end, the Golden Knights lose virtually nothing in the deal.

So case closed. Poka Shippy. (It means goodbye in Russian… I think). Time to shift the focus back to what’s important, the players who are still here in Las Vegas, and a team that’s 9-5-1, gearing up for a home game against the Winnipeg Jets. Right?

Nah. It’s not that simple. You can’t be THAT wrong about someone and simply write it off as “he’s a good guy and it just didn’t work out for us and for him here.” That doesn’t work for me. This whole situation isn’t about what was lost, and I’m certainly not buying McPhee’s “good news.”

The good news is the contract is off the books and a roster spot was opened up. -McPhee

That’s not why Vadim Shipachyov was brought over from the KHL to the NHL. It was to use him as an asset to help the Golden Knights become better in the future.

One of the greatest expenses you will ever have in your life is opportunity cost. Warren Buffet

We’ll probably ever get…(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

That’s right, I just dropped a Warren Buffet quote in an article about a whiny Russian hockey player. When you come down from the shock of realizing that the guy who runs a website that can’t even get a .com actually paid enough attention in macroeconomics class to understand the principle of opportunity cost, chew on that quote for a second, cause that’s what’s really lost in the whole Shipachyov story.

George McPhee bought 30-year-old KHL superstar Vadim Shipachyov to be a piece to the bigger puzzle of building a championship team. But for that to happen, they needed him to be good. So good that either he would play for the Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights sometime between 2021-2023 at the ripe age of 35 or so, or he would become valuable enough to fetch a high-end prospect that would help the Golden Knights over the long term.

Any use out of all the… (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Instead, due to a set of mishaps by every party involved, Shipachyov scurried back to Russia without the Golden Knights getting anything. Literally nothing, for a player that was an elite point producer in arguably the second best league in the world.

The picture has been painted by the Golden Knights that Vadim Shipachyov just wasn’t cracked up to be an NHL player, and that’s all on him. But the truth is, we won’t ever know if that’s accurate because of the way he was handled.

He’s left off the opening day roster because of a “numbers decision.” A move that makes sense to anyone with a shred of knowledge of the CBA, but may not have been so clear to the man it was happening to, or maybe, more importantly, his wife. That’s on McPhee.

Pictures we took of Shippy. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Then, he’s brought back and given the GREAT opportunity to play a total of 32:46 over three games and less than three minutes on the power play where he’s at his best. He’s then told, “he needed some time to play to see if he could adjust to the pace of play of the North American game with a smaller rink.” That’s on Gerard Gallant and the Golden Knights scouting staff.

So he’s sent to the AHL to get that ice time, to give him time to adjust, and he says “nyet, I’m going back to Russia.” That’s on Shipachyov.

Everyone messed this up, and in the end, the Golden Knights get nothing, out of an asset that should have been worth his weight in gold. It’s a series of events that all fell against the Golden Knights. They took the risk to keep Jason Garrison and Griffin Reinhart on the roster in lieu of keeping Shipachyov. Coach opted to go for the W’s rather than give the guy a bit more ice time to “adjust to the pace of play,” and the player turned out to be a whiny prima donna who refused to cut his teeth in a league in which 3/4ths of NHL players play in at some point.

I repeat. Everyone messed this up.

Until something happens next week and he comes back. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

And now, the Golden Knights got absolutely nothing in watching Shipachyov depart, they may never get Nikita Gusev, (a Russian teammate of Shipachyov who Vegas acquired via trade during the Expansion Draft) and there’s a chance it has set a precedent for the way the Vegas Golden Knights treat free agents that could hinder some big-name signings in the future.

But hey, the Golden Knights, who are now nearly $10M under the cap and not looking to add any players, got the contract off the books. Oh, and they got a much-needed roster spot back so they can scratch Jon Merrill or Griffin Reinhart for another 10 consecutive games. And all it cost was “8/164ths of the signing bonus.”

Open your eyes people, opportunity… is what was lost.

Imagine what could have been if he just shot this. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

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10 Comments

  1. Jason

    Good take on this situation, and love the site even if it’s not a .com! 😉

  2. ted

    The best analog to this story is Dadonov in Florida or looking back, Radulov. This is an organizational failure, not a player failure.

    • How is NONE of this on the player? He NEVER played his way into the lineup and would not go to the AHL. I think homesickness was as big an issue as any in this situation.

    • WIlson

      7 of the top 15 scorers in the KHL did not work out in the NHL including Linden Vey, Nigel Dawes, Matt Frattin, Linus Omark, Jiri Sekac, Sergei Shirokov and Wojtek Wolski

      Many other former NHLers like Plotnikov and Filatov are other perfect examples of players that could not transfer their skill to the NHL.

      Radulov and Dadonov are horrible examples as both had already played in the NHL previously and both had already played well at the NHL level.

    • thecommish

      At the end of the day, Shipachyov is an employee, we tend to forget that in sports. His employer wanted him to do one thing and he did not want to do it. If you do that at your job, you are likely looking to work for someone else, which is exactly what Vadim is about to do.

      This stinks because I think he could have been a real asset for this team. It was a Shippy of Fools all around, but the employer won this one.

    • VGK4Life

      At practices during preseason he looked disinterested and lazy. I made this comment to several other hockey fans and friends who attended these with myself. This whole ordeal is just the wrong guy who felt his time and success in the KHL made him entitled to the NHL. I’m not sad to see him go.

  3. Cappy

    Whiney Russian Hockey player….

    I think that title belongs to Alexander Semin. GMGM probably didn’t want to deal with another him.

    Be glad he was gone before he turned into another one of those.

  4. A Fan

    Sorry, I’m glad he’s gone. A brand new team doesn’t need someone with his attitude. It doesn’t matter if it was his wife being uncomfortable here or he thought he was just to good to play in the minors for a while, or any other reason. When I heard him say he would sooner pass then shoot the puck, he didn’t feel right for this team to me. While it may make for a good story that ‘we’ll never know’ what could have been with him, sometimes it’s just best to cut the cord and be done with it. NEXT IT. His Ship(py) has sailed.

  5. Epic use of the photo inventory, Ken. Brilliant!!! =)

  6. Bent Hermit

    There was a report that the Ducks wanted to make a trade for him but Ship wanted to go back to Russia.

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