America's insidious plan: will Vegas take Radulov and the SKA line?
SKA forward Evgeny Dadonov is leaving for the NHL because his contract in Russia has expired. And his new club is going to be Vegas, even though several other NHL teams, including the Chicago Blackhawks, expressed their interest in him. In Chicago, Evgeny would earn less but could become part of a team with a style suitable for Russian players.
But it seems that Vegas has won the battle for Dadonov, and now he is going to play on Vadim Shipachyov’s line again. It’s great because the guys have perfect understanding. Moreover, Dadonov has already played in the NHL for the Florida Panthers and even represented his team at the NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh. So he does have the experience.
Now there’s a drumroll. According to our information, it is likely that Tampa trades Nikita Gusev’s rights to Vegas, because the new team’s general manager George McPhee is dreaming of reuniting the SKA line in his club. He was amazed by their play at the IIHF World Championship.
So it might turn out that SKA produces a combat-ready line not only for Team Russia, but for Vegas as well. On the other hand, Nikita Gusev isn’t that simple himself. He has one more year of his KHL contract, but there isn’t much money left on it. He could have bought it out and gone overseas. But chances are that Gusev extends his contract with SKA on more favorable conditions and goes to the Olympics. Then McPhee will have to find another winger for Shipachyov’s line.
There is, however, still a chance for the Golden Knights to get Gusev. Right now he is in Los Angeles and will probably receive an invitation to Vegas to admire its splendor—and change his mind.