The Vegas Golden Knights have finally recalled center Vadim Shipachyov today from the Chicago Wolves, tweeted Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. In a corresponding move, Johnston tweets that Vegas has placed Erik Haula on injured reserve after a fight with Detroit’s Tomas Tatar last night.
For Shipachyov, it’s been a long wait to make his NHL debut. Considered to be a key signing by Vegas and quite possibly one of their best playmakers on the team, Shipachyov fell into a numbers crunch with the team’s extreme defensive depth of non-waiver eligible defensemen. In hopes of making a late trade, general manager George McPhee instead decided to option the Russian center to avoid having to place one of those defensemen on waivers and lose them. The 30-year-old has played his entire career in the KHL, putting up big numbers last season for St. Petersburg with 26 goals, 50 assists and 76 points, all career-highs. He signed a two-year deal with Vegas on May 4.
Instead, while he had been optioned to Chicago in the AHL, he never played for them, having stayed in Vegas. There were reports he was upset about the situation and his agents were looking for a way out of his contract situation. McPhee later said that he had no options, although that might be debateable, however, he said he spoke to Shipachyov’s camp and explained the situation better to the KHL veteran. Now, it looks like Shipachyov will make his debut Sunday at T-Mobile Arena against the Boston Bruins.
As for Haula, the 26-year-old wing has had a goal and an assist in four games. Claimed from the Minnesota Wild in the expansion draft, Haula had 15 goals and 26 points for the Wild last season and did score his lone goal last night against the Red Wings. The speedy wing had trouble getting minutes in Minnesota despite four years with the team and then chose to sign a three-year deal with Vegas, making him the Wild’s expansion selection.