Sunday, 22 May 2016

Vadim Shipachev, a target of the Canadiens' affection.

Martin St. Pierre, the erstwhile Hamilton Bulldog/Canadien, is on L’Antichambre sharing his stories of playing in the KHL. When asked by Vincent Damphousse, who the next likely player is to come over to the NHL, who’s the next Artemi Panarin, he says it’s Vadim Shipachev.
“The centre who played with Panarin and Kovalchuk in St. Petersburg, Vadim Shipachev. He’s on the Russian national hockey team. To me, he’s the hardest to play against. I don’t know him personally, but he’s the best hope for the next player from the KHL to come to the NHL. He’s tall, he’s strong, he has vision, he’s fast, it’s impressive seeing a young player like that.”

Watching a few minutes of the Russia-Czech game, Vadim Shipachev is getting lots of icetime, is very comfortable and skillful with the puck.  He’s the alternate captain for Russia, and seems to trade off with Pavel Datsyuk as centres on the two top lines.

I guess with a good tourney he could boost his asking price, his contract demands. He’s no more ‘in the bag’ for us than Auston Matthews was I guess, to my chagrin.

I’m not sure how much of an improvement he would be over Tomas Plekanec, and this is a factor since I’m not sure we can afford both at the same time. He’s going to command a decent contract, trading away David Desharnais or Lars Eller might not clear enough cap room. Certainly, it would hamper any effort to sign a Kyle Okposo or David Backes.

I don’t know what the market might be. I thought he was a Jiri Sekac-type of signing, a guy who has to sign an Entry-Level Contract, so essentially risk-free, and no subject for a bidding war, but no, at 29 he’s able to negotiate whatever contract he can.

Especially if he has a good tournament, he’ll be able to drive up the bidding, so he should get term and a good amount.

When I thought he was locked into a ELC, it made sense to sign him, but now I’m wondering if it’s worthwhile, if he’s merely a player who’ll be Tomas Plekanec 2.0, in terms of production and cap hit. If so, we might as well stick with Tomas.

But I do want a shakeup…


See, this is why it’s great to expose your half-baked ideas to all on social media.

I only watched most of the third period, liked what I saw from Mr. Shipachev, but don’t see a great difference in the way he plays compared to Tomas. Maybe he is more skillful, outwardly, now that you bring it up. Supporters will be quick to bring up that Tomas kills penalties.

And I thought they were essentially the same age, but it has been pointed out, 33 and 29 are quite different in terms of where you are in your hockey career.

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