Updated November 27, 2019 - 1:18 pm
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Golden Knights placed forward Valentin Zykov on waivers Wednesday morning just before his 20-game suspension for violating the terms of the NHL/NHL Players Association Performance Enhancing Substances Program ended.
Wednesday’s game against the Nashville Predators was the 20th game of Zykov’s suspension. He is eligible to play Friday against the Arizona Coyotes, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll still be part of the organization then.
Zykov is eligible to be claimed off waivers by any of the other 30 NHL teams before 9 a.m. PT Thursday. If he is not, he will likely be assigned to the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves.
Coach Gerard Gallant confirmed Zykov was on waivers Wednesday but didn’t comment further.
Zykov played in the Knights’ first seven games and had two assists before being suspended. The team supported the punishment. Knights president of hockey operations George McPhee said that Zykov told him he had been taking supplements for four years. McPhee said Zykov continued to do so after being claimed off waivers by the team Dec. 29 without its knowledge or consent.
Zykov said in a statement after his suspension was announced that he didn’t know how he tested positive but that he accepted his punishment. Zykov was not available to the media during his suspension.
He started practicing with the Knights again on Nov. 19, 10 days before his suspension was set to end, in accordance to the league’s collective bargaining agreement. He did not travel with the team on its two-game trip to Dallas and Nashville, however.
Zykov was the second Knights player to be suspended under the NHL/NHLPA performance-enhancing substances policy. Defenseman Nate Schmidt missed the first 20 games last season, but he claimed “environmental contamination” was the reason for his failed test and the team backed him.
The Knights struck a very different tone with Zykov with their words and, with Wednesday’s move, their actions.
Wednesday was a chance for the Knights to catch up with ex-forward Daniel Carr, who is now with the Predators.
Carr played in six games for the Knights and 52 with the Wolves last season. He was named the AHL’s MVP after scoring 71 points (30 goals, 41 assists) in the regular season and helped the Wolves reach the championship round of the playoffs, the Calder Cup Final.
“He’s definitely a guy we relied on for offense,” said rookie Nic Hague, who played 75 games with the Wolves last year. “I’m happy to see he’s up here.”
Carr had played four games with the Predators entering Wednesday and scored a shootout winner Monday against the reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.
“He’s a very good, impact player,” said rookie Cody Glass, who joined the Wolves at the end of the regular season last year. “He’s dangerous when you give him time and space.”