Now-former Golden Knights center Vadim Shipachyov wasted little time finding his next place to play as he has signed a one-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg, the KHL team announced. This comes on the heels of him finalizing his NHL retirement back on Thursday. Igor Eronko of Sport-Express in Russia reports (Twitter link) that the contract is worth $500K, well off the $4.5MM cap hit he had in the NHL.
Shipachyov is no stranger to SKA having spent the past four seasons there before crossing the pond to try his hand at the NHL back in May. In 205 regular season games with the team during that span, he had 67 goals and 155 assists.
Things didn’t go as well with Vegas, however. He wound up starting the season in the minors at least in part due to his waiver exemption and while he did get into three games with the Golden Knights, it wasn’t long before he was sent back down and at that time, Shipachyov decided he’d rather return back home than continue to pursue an NHL spot. Doing so will also free him up for the Olympics, assuming the Russian Federation is allowed to participate and the KHL allows its players to go, two things that have come into question over the past week.
Even though the contract is only for the rest of this season, the 30-year-old won’t be able to try to return to the NHL next season. As part of the agreement with him filing NHL retirement papers, the Golden Knights will retain Shipachyov’s rights through his age-35 season and considering how things went the first time around, it’s highly likely that he will opt to stay in the KHL for the foreseeable future.