Vadim Shipachyov officially parts ways with Golden Knights

Updated November 9, 2017 - 4:59 pm

In the end, it just didn’t work out for either Vadim Shipachyov or the Golden Knights.

The 30-year-old Russian center’s stay in the NHL, which lasted all of three games, ended Thursday as the final documents on his voluntary retirement were finalized. He plans to continue his career in his homeland in the Kontinental Hockey League.

“He just wanted to go home,” Knights general manager George McPhee said Thursday after practice at City National Arena. “He’s a good player and a good guy. But sometimes things just don’t work out.”

Shipachyov forfeits $9 million in salary he was due to receive from the Knights over the next two seasons. He can’t return to the league unless it’s to play for the Knights, who will own his rights for the next five years. He also had to return most of his $2 million signing bonus.

The NHL and the NHL Players Association worked out the terms of the agreement Saturday with input from the Knights and Petr Svoboda, Shipachyov’s agent. The team had suspended him without pay Oct. 29 after Shipachyov left the AHL Chicago Wolves without permission.

“Sometimes the player you see in Europe isn’t the player you see here,” McPhee said in trying to explain why things didn’t work out. “That’s the risk you take.

“He needed to assimilate more and work on his pace of play. When we assigned him to Chicago the second time, he needed some time to play to see if he could adjust to the quicker pace of play in the North American game with the smaller rink and the quicker game. But he wasn’t willing to do that.

“We tried to make things work for him here. We hired a translator when he got here. We tried to help him. We had a trade worked out but he didn’t want to play over here and he just wanted to go home.”

Goaltender update

Neither Marc-Andre Fleury nor Oscar Dansk practiced Thursday, and McPhee was uncertain whether they would be ready for the two-game road trip that begins Tuesday at Edmonton.

Maxime Lagace was announced as the starter for Friday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.

The team has provided few updates on Fleury since he suffered a concussion Oct. 13, though he skated on the Knights’ day off on Wednesday.

“Every once in a while they’ll go out and test things, but no one has been cleared,” McPhee said. “They are progressing, they are getting better, but we still don’t have timelines. When they’re ready, they’ll be ready.”

McPhee said previously he is not looking to add a goaltender and reiterated that stance Thursday.

“If there were something out there that would make a big difference for us, we’d be all over it. But there isn’t,” McPhee said. “And we’re not about to start giving away draft picks only to have a logjam here in whenever — one week, two weeks — whenever these guys are back. So, we’ll tough it out.”

Spanish broadcast team named

The Knights announced that ESPN Deportes (1460 AM) will broadcast 16 regular-season games, starting with Friday’s contest against Winnipeg.

Jesus Lopez will handle the play-by-play duties and Alvaro Puentes will provide analysis. The Knights are the third team to broadcast games in Spanish, joining the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers.

Winnipeg Jets

7:30 p.m., Friday, T-Mobile Arena

The Skinny: The Jets are off to a fast start at 8-3-3 and are in second place in the Central Division with 19 points. The goaltending has been excellent with Connor Hellebucyk, who is 8-0-2 and they’re getting balanced production from their top offensive players. Right wing Patrik Laine has heated up after a slow start with goals in each of his last three games. Laine, who had 36 goals last season as an NHL rookie, now has seven goals in 14 games so far this year.

Top scorers: Right wing Blake Wheeler leads the Jets with 21 points (five goals, 16 assists). Center Mark Scheifele has 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) and left wing Nikolaj Ehlers has eight goals and 11 points.

Goaltender: Connor Hellebucyk, 8-0-2, 2.12 goals-against average, .936 save percentage.

Coach: Paul Maurice, fifth season, 144-115-36

Founded: 1999 as Atlanta Thrashers. Moved to Winnipeg 2011

Last Stanley Cup: None (Lost in 2007 Western Conference quarterfinals)

Did you know: The Jets play in the smallest arena in the NHL, the Bell MTS Place, which seats 15,294. The Jets have only made the playoffs twice in their 17-year existence.

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter. Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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