According to KHL reporter Alvis Kalnins, highly touted forward Vadim Shipachyov has decided to remain in the KHL rather than accepting one of the many offers he was presented by NHL teams, including the Montreal Canadiens.
#BREAKING Vadim Shipachov will not play the #NHL this season. Has agreed to stay with SKA due to a a pay raise from 1.73 to 2.53mil— Aivis Kalniņš (@A_Kalnins) June 1, 2016
Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin has been reportedly courting Shipachyov since at least March, so this will probably come as a blow to his plans. Shipachyov will become the third player who Bergevin was unable to lure away from the KHL in the past two seasons, with Artem Paranin and Michal Kempny both choosing the Chicago Blackhawks rather than signing with the Canadiens.
The Canadiens were apparently close in signing Shipachyov last week, but they hit a snag in the negotiations when an option clause in Shipachyov's contract with the SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League tied him up with the team, and short of buying his way out of the deal he would remain contractually obliged to honour the deal.
There is currently no transfer agreement between the NHL and KHL, however the two leagues have a loose verbal agreement not to poach each other's contracted players.