Some things are supposed to go down smoothly and be great news for a team. It was expected to be the case on Tuesday when a Russian report by NHL.com’s Pavel Lysenkov revealed that the Washington Capitals have signed KHL forward Sergei Shumakov to a one-year contract worth $925K.
The right-handed shooting left wing formerly with CSKA Moscow finished 18th in Kontinental Hockey League points last season, tallying 17 goals and 23 assists in 47 games and the defending Stanley Cup champions were elated to bring him on board.
However, it appears that the report was not completely true, and later on Tuesday KHL insider Aivis Kalnins revealed that, according to Sergei Shumakov's agent, "his client has not signed with the Washington Capitals and the report appears to be false."
'To sign a contract, you need a contract offer either verbal or in a written form, we haven't received one from the Washington Capitals," mentioned agent Shumi Babaev to Kalnins.
The winger's agent also noted that his client has been in contact with numerous NHL teams but there is no agreement or anything to report at the moment.
It has been known for a few weeks now that Shumakov is interested in coming to North America to play in the National Hockey League. Shumakov was holding out and not attending CSKA’s training camp, in an attempt to get out of his contract. The team even attempted to move him but, after failing to find a trade partner, CSKA released the 25-year-old, who became a free agent on Monday.
It is reportedly when the Capitals showed interest in landing the forward and started negotiations to bring him on board.
Shumakov has been consistent at the KHL level, averaging .51 points per game during his 282 contests in the KHL and could bring an additional scoring boost to the Capitals or any other NHL team for that matter. If Kalnins is correct about the deal falling through, any other club from the NHL could decide to sweep in and make a pitch for Shumakov, who might be more interested in joining a Cup contender.
The Capitals have $1.1 million of cap space available, and could still manage to convince Shumakov. However, it could be quite the battle for his services with this latest report.