CHICAGO — Vadim Shipachyov was supposed to make his Chicago Wolves debut on Saturday. Shipachyov, who was assigned to the Vegas Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate on Tuesday, practiced Friday.
However, according to Eric Engels of Rogers Spotsnet prior to the Wolves’ game against the Milwaukee Admirals that Shipachyov left Chicago and returned to Las Vegas to be with family.
Wolves coach Rocky Thompson said he was not made aware of Shipachyov’s availability until hours prior to puck drop.
“I found out two hours and 15 minutes before the game,” Thompson said.
Which means that Shipachyov was at Chicago’s morning skate prior to the game. Thompson said there was no reason to him not playing, other than “just that he wasn’t going to be playing tonight.”
“We had two rosters on the board,” Thompson said. “Which is normal, if someone were to get injured, we know who’s going to fill in. And so we were prepared for it. And then when we found out it was a quick switch.”
That quick switch was likely Brett Sterling, an AHL veteran who’s been with the Wolves the entire season and playing on the first line tonight. Chicago won 2-1 on the backs of Teemu Pulkkinen, Shea Theodore, and CJ Motte, the Golden Knights’ fifth goaltender, who made 27 saves
As for Shipachyov, speculation abounds. Perhaps he is already in Vegas with his family. He’s been given permission to find a trade with his agent, so perhaps he’s doing that. Whatever it is, the Wolves have been left at least partially in the dark. With him skipping town instead of playing a game tonight, nobody knows whether to expect him back.