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Vadim Shipachyov signs with SKA St. Petersburg after end of NHL ordeal

The Shipachyov saga is officially over.

Boston Bruins v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Russian forward Vadim Shipachyov has signed a one-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL, the team announced Saturday. Thus ends the ongoing saga of his attempted move to the NHL over the past few months.

Shipachyov, one of the best players in the KHL over the past few seasons, had signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the Vegas Golden Knights over the summer. He was expected to be a key player for the expansion franchise, but found himself as the odd man out to open the season.

The relationship between the two sides fell apart after that, so Shipachyov decided to officially retire from the NHL to go back to Russia. Knights On Ice has more on what went wrong. The Golden Knights will now hold Shipachyov’s NHL rights until he’s 35 years old.

Back in Russia, Shipachyov will take an already dominant SKA team to another level. Last season, he finished second on the team in points (76 in 50 games) behind Ilya Kovalchuk. This season, SKA has posted a 28-1-2 record without him. His addition makes the KHL’s top team, which already boasted Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk, Nikita Gusev, Slava Voynov, and Igor Shestyorkin, even better.

The other key angle for Shipachyov here is that he’ll now be eligible for the 2018 Olympics, unless the KHL follows through on pulling its involvement if the IOC bans Team Russia for doping. As a member of the Golden Knights, he was giving up that eligibility.

It’s disappointing that we’ll never get to really see what Shipachyov could do in the NHL. He played just three games with Vegas, recording one assist.