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McPhee Spending Time In Russia With Eyes On Vladimir Tkachyov

Apparently, Golden Knights GM George McPhee likes to spend his summer vacation in Russia.

According to NHL.com’s Igor Eronko, Vegas’ head honcho was in Russia to check in on prospect Nikita Gusev, and meet with at least one other KHL’er.

First off, let’s identify the right Vladimir Tkachyov. Vegas has interest in the 24-year-old left-handed center, not the 22-year-old right-handed forward. The older Tkachyov is bigger, listed at 6’0″, 200 lbs and is a successful two-way KHL player.

KHL Statistics
•2013-14: 52 Games, 1 Goal, 9 Pts, (0.17 PPG)
•2014-15: 30 Games, 6 G, 9 Pts, (0.30 PPG)
•2015-16: 48 Games, 12 G, 20Pts, (0.42 PPG)
•2016-17: 58 Games, 15 G, 32 Pts, (0.55 PPG)
•2017-18: 53 Games, 22 G, 36 Pts, (0.68 PPG)

Tkachyov has improved offensively every season in the KHL, and plays in all situations. In 2017-18, the center averaged 16:41 per game, scored seven power-play goals, and logged penalty kill minutes. Add in a 55% career faceoff win percentage, and Tkachyov fits nicely on an NHL team’s third or fourth line. Possibly the Golden Knights.

Given Tkachyov is projected to be a third or fourth line center, it poses an interesting scenario. The Golden Knights could decide to move on from 2019 UFA centers Oscar Lindberg, Ryan Carpenter, or Pierre-Edouard Bellemare if they got a deal done with the KHL center. VGK’s interest in Tkachyov could suggest an insurance policy for the 2019-2020 season. Especially, if McPhee deals a center during the 2018-19 season.

Tkachyov teased NHL club’s a year ago, but signed an extension with his KHL club. He’s signed through April 30th, 2019 with his KHL team. While there’s no official rule on the books that prohibits a player from abandoning their contract to leave for the NHL, it’s frowned upon and doesn’t happen often. If/when Tkachyov does decide to make the jump, Vegas certainly won’t be the only bidder. Hopefully, McPhee’s visit will put the Golden Knights on top of Tkachyov’s NHL list.

Lastly, from early reports, the Vadim Shipachyov saga has no impact on Tkachyov. If the NHL, is indeed in his future, the Golden Knights should’t be at any disadvantage. Either way, Vegas fans should be happy with the GM’s effort. Like Tkachyov said, he’s met NHL scouts before, but McPhee was the first NHL general manager he shook hands with.

Oh, and don’t think for a second that “vacation” doesn’t have a visit to Nikita Gusev on the itinerary as well.

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1 Comment

  1. LeRinkRat

    WHY would the VGK throw P-E-B under the bus ???

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