Reports have been floating around for a days about the possibility that the Montreal Canadiens were close to luring KHL standout, and World Championship leading scorer, Vadim Shipachyov out of his SKA sweater and into a Habs jersey.
After a 60-point season with SKA St. Petersburg, his best in his eight-year KHL career, the 29-year-old led the World Championship in scoring with 18 points in 10 games. Although many NHL teams had already showed interest in signing Shipachyov to a NHL deal, his performance in Russia seemed to intensify the interst and activity.
Hearing #Habs and Shipachov have moved closer to a deal. Both sides not miles apart but discussions ongoing.
— Aivis Kalniņš (@A_Kalnins) May 24, 2016
Montreal reporter Yvon Pedneault reported that he was told negotiations between the Canadiens and Vadim Shipachyov were close to being a done deal.
“On m’a dit que les négociations au sujet du transfert de Shipachev sont sur le point d’être complétées,” me dit cet informateur.
Translation: “‘I’m told that the negotiations relating to the transfer of [Shipachyov] are nearly completed’ the source told me.”
Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman jumped into the discussion on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 on Tuesday morning.
“The Russian player, Shipachyov, is going to make his decision pretty soon. He was one of the top scorers at the worlds. He’s a free agent. He’s coming over. I know Montreal has been one of the teams from the beginning chasing him the hardest. I know they’re hoping to get him. So I think they are – I don’t know if they’re the lead horse, but they’re probably the hardest-charging horse. But he’s expected to make his decision in the next little while.
Then, later on Tuesday, a wrinkle appeared in Montreal’s scramble to sign the Russian. Apparently there could be a contractual option that he needs to live up to for next KHL season.
There is word of a snag in Vadim Shipachyov’s status. He may have to fulfill another year in Russia before coming to the NHL.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 24, 2016
This is a developing story for both the Canadiens and Shipachyov. Stay tuned.