The Vadim Shipachyov saga appears to have finally reached a sudden but inevitable conclusion as reports have surfaced that Shipachyov will indeed be heading back to Russia.
As first reported by Sportsnet's Eric Engels, the 30-year-old KHL star will have his contract terminated following the unconditional waiver process which will open the door for Shipachyov to presumably return to SKA St. Petersburg.
This news ends what has been a bizarre set of events that began when Shipachyov was assigned to the Knights’ AHL affiliate in Chicago just prior to the start of the season. When Shipachyov failed to report or play for the Wolves, suspicions began to be raised by media and fans alike.
On Oct. 9, things took a turn when KHL insider Aivis Kalnins reported Shipachyov was upset with the organization and planned to head back to the KHL. At the time, both general manager George McPhee and Shipachyov's agent denied the claims.
The story did not end there, though, as Shipachyov was recalled by the Knights but played just three games before being reassigned to the Wolves. The Golden Knights then granted him and his representatives the right to contact teams to work out a trade, but nothing materialized.
But we're not done. In a twist no one saw coming, on Oct. 29, just hours before what was to be Shipachyov's debut with the Wolves, he left the team and flew back to Vegas to be with his family.
Today's report finally puts the bookend on one of the NHL's most captivating distractions from the early season, while also validating Kalnins’ original report.
Now that this has been settled, one must wonder what this all means for Shipachyov's former-and-possible-future-teammate Nikita Gusev, whose rights are also the property of the Golden Knights. Surely he will get an earful from Shipachyov about how McPhee and the front office conduct business.
This train wreck could be felt within the organization for years yet to come.
But, hey. We’ll always have that one goal.