Hockey is on hiatus which gives us the chance to get creative in our coverage of the Vegas Golden Knights.
With no sports at all at the moment due to the coronavirus crisis, reporting on the Vegas Golden Knights has been different to say the least.
I believe in looking at the positives, however, and this current lockdown on all sports does allow us the freedom to head down certain avenues we may not usually have the time to do so.
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As a result, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to revisit a period in Golden Knights history that will always go down as a bemusing one.
The curious case of Vadim Shipachyov.
Signed as a marquee free agent before the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, and the second player signed in franchise history behind Reid Duke, many looked at Shipachyov as being the franchise center an expansion team needed to build around.
However, the dream soon escalated towards becoming a nightmare and the marriage made in heaven quickly become a match forged in hell.
It is a saga that can be filed under the bonkers category, and Shipachyov will be forever seen as the one that might have been for the Golden Knights.
So, with plenty of time on our hands at the moment, we decided to revisit those crazy days early in the inaugural year of the Vegas Golden Knights…
Deep in the process of preparing for the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee was also scouring all corners of the globe for NHL-ready talent.
His extensive search brought him to a Russian stud who went by the name of Vadim Shipachyov, a skilled center with excellent vision.
Needing a big-ticket guy to help generate interest ahead of their first year in the NHL, McPhee decided to throw his chips into the middle of the table by signing Shipachyov to a two-year deal with an average annual value of $4,500,000.
By shelling out $9 million over two years for a player not yet tried and tested in the NHL, McPhee and the Golden Knights were sending out a clear message in regards to their belief in Shipachyov.
In other words, the Knights were wasting little time in crowning the talent their first franchise center.
A scoring star in Russia, including 76 points (26 goals, 50 assists) for SKA St. Petersburg the year prior to heading to Sin City, Shipachyov had the swagger and the reputation to lead the Golden Knights into an exciting new era.
However, the honeymoon period was over before it really started and things began to turn ugly pretty quickly…