Shortly after the Vegas Golden Knights assigned Vadim Shipachyov to the AHL to start the season, rumours surfaced the former KHL star was looking into returning to SKA St. Petersburg.
Shipachyov was demoted once again this week and his agent has received permission from the team to shop the centre around the NHL.
On Friday, SKA released a statement pointing to the agreement between the NHL and KHL that both leagues will honour each other's contracts.
"At the moment, Vadim is under a two-year contract with the Club of the National Hockey League," SKA announced, per KHL Insider Aivis Kalnins.
"Between the KHL and NHL there is an agreement which forces both leagues to respect each other's contracts, so now no legal preconditions for the return of Shipachyov in Russia does not exist.
"Shipachyov has valid NHL contract with the Club, the KHL clubs do not have the right to negotiate with either the player or his agent. This applies to both the SKA and other League clubs - taking into account the fact that in the KHL Shipachyov is an unrestricted free agent."
Shipachyov spent the past four seasons with SKA St. Petersburg before signing a two-year, $9-million contract with the Golden Knights to play in North America for the first time.
He scored 26 goals and posted 76 points in 50 games with the KHL club last season. He has one goal in three games with Vegas this season.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk both left the NHL with term remaining on their contracts to sign with SKA St. Petersburg.