Vadim Shipachyov has returned to Russia as his hockey future remains in limbo, according to his agent Petr Svoboda.
The 30-year-old forward, who signed a two-year, $9 million contract — including a $2 million signing bonus — with the Vegas Golden Knights this past summer, hopes to pursue playing opportunities in the KHL once his NHL contract situation has been resolved.
Shipachyov, who had one goal in three games with the Golden Knights, is currently under suspension by the team since leaving their AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves this past Saturday.
In order for Shipachyov to sign on with a KHL team, he must first either file retirement papers with the NHL or have his contract with the Golden Knights terminated. Shipachyov has requested that Vegas terminate his contract. If he were to retire, Vegas would retain his NHL rights.
Should Vegas agree to terminate his deal, Shipachyov would be placed on unconditional waivers for 24 hours.
Should any team claim him during that period, they would be on the hook for the remainder of his two-year, $9 million contract, but Vegas would remain responsible for the $2 million signing bonus.
Not surprisingly, Vegas hopes to obtain a guarantee from the 30 other NHL teams that they will not claim Shipachyov should he go on waivers. As of writing, it is not known whether Vegas general manager George McPhee will secure such a guarantee.
Should the contract termination process proceed without Shipachyov being claimed, Svoboda says Shipachyov will repay Vegas all but $86,000 of the signing bonus (the pro-rated amount based on the amount of games the Golden Knights played prior to the suspension as mandated by the CBA).