NOTE: McPhee has since spoken about this situation, clearly a lot of what is discussed in this article. Here’s the story.

Hockey media was set ablaze with a pair of tweets from some highly respected reporters today on Vadim Shipachyov requesting a trade.

At face value, this appears to be simple. He’s been sent to the AHL twice by the Vegas Golden Knights, they’ve played well without him, he probably still has some value, therefore maybe he’d be a better fit elsewhere.

But that doesn’t make sense when you go all the way back to why Vadim Shipachyov was brought in to the Vegas Golden Knights in the first place. Multiple times, including this afternoon by Kelly McCrimmon (article coming on that tomorrow), members of the Golden Knights front office have commented on a “flaw” in the Expansion Draft matrix.

“Waiver what now?” (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The rules allowed for the Golden Knights to get many good players, but they were not afforded the chance to get players who were “waiver exempt” and could be sent to the AHL without the risk of losing them. So, the Golden Knights made a conscious effort to solve this problem. They acquired Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch, and Keegan Kolesar via trade and they signed Tomas Hyka, Oscar Dansk and… Vadim Shipachyov as free agents.

Note that every single one of those players began the season in the AHL, because the Golden Knights knew well before the Expansion Draft ever began that they would have a glut of players at a certain position (it turned out to be defensemen). The only way to solve this was to amass waiver exempt players.

So, what’s happening here? Before I start, I want to say that this is all a hypothesis, rooted in covering this team and knowing a lot of the facts of the situation, but nonetheless, this is NOT a report of fact, it’s more of a guess as to what could be happening, and why it’s being reported the way it is.

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