Report: Insider alludes to KHL collusion in Shipachyov rumors

Espionage straight out of a Russian spy movie!

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In his latest 31 Thoughts article for Sportsnet, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman breaks down the latest in the Vadim Shipachyov saga. The Vegas Golden Knights forward was reportedly looking for a way out of his NHL deal with the expansion club so that he could return to Russia to play in the KHL, presumably with his former club SKA Saint Petersburg.

Shipachyov, through his agent Petr Svoboda, threw cold water on the rumors, calling them nonsense. Golden Knights GM George McPhee has also debunked the rumors, calling them completely made up. But, as we know in the small, tight-knit hockey world: where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. That’s where Friedman comes in. The analyst speculates that either Shipachyov is lying about the sequence of events or that a KHL club floated out the rumor in an effort to lure the 30-year-old sniper back home.

In Friedman’s own words:

In this case, one of two things is most likely. It’s either true, or some KHL club wants Shipachyov, thinks he’s wasting his time in North America and put that out there.

It’s an interesting theory, but it seems like hockey fans will never find out the truth in this case. McPhee maintains that there’s no issue and that he’ll “do the best he can” to sort out the team’s current roster jumble.