October 25, 2017 - 7:24 pm
Updated October 25, 2017 - 9:14 pm
The Golden Knights reportedly are set to cut ties with Russian center Vadim Shipachyov.
The team granted permission to Shipachyov’s agent to seek a trade, according to separate reports from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.ca and Darren Dreger of TSN in Canada.
The Knights declined comment Wednesday through a team spokesperson.
Shipachyov’s agent, Petr Svoboda, could not be reached.
Shipachyov was signed to a two-year, $9 million contract in May after posting 76 points in 50 games in Russia’s KHL.
The 30-year-old was projected to skate on the team’s top line and No. 1 power play unit, but he struggled to adapt to the NHL style.
Shipachyov had one assist in four preseason games and was assigned to Chicago of the American Hockey League to open the season. He reported to the team, then flew back to Las Vegas to be with his wife without suiting up for the Wolves.
At the time, Knights general manager George McPhee denied rumors that Shipachyov and his agent were seeking a move back to Russia.
The Knights recalled Shipachyov on Oct. 14 when Erik Haula went on the injured-reserve list. The next day against Boston, he joined Hall of Famer Gilbert Perreault as the only players to score the game-winner in his NHL debut with a first-year expansion team.
But Shipachyov went without a point in his next two games and was assigned to Chicago (AHL) on Tuesday when forward Jonathan Marchessault was activated from the IR.
“I know he’s a high free agent that we got in the summer and we’d like to see him score more and all that,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said Monday. “But again, it’s tough on the guy. He didn’t start here. He started with the minor league club and came up and played a few games. He was OK. He wasn’t great, but he was OK.
“He’s been bounced around a little bit. We just want him to compete hard, get used to the NHL game. Like I said, it hasn’t been easy right now for him. But we’re seven games in, so we’ve got to be patient and hopefully things turn around.”
Shipachyov, who is exempt from waivers, was scratched by the Wolves for their game against Manitoba on Wednesday. The team’s next game is Friday in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
McPhee contacted Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin on Tuesday about a possible trade involving Shipachyov, according to a report from Sportsnet.ca, but the Canadiens were not interested.
Vadim Shipachyov file
Birthplace: Cherepovets, Russia
Penalty minutes: 2