He was full of determination, but it seems like it did not help him in the end. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Kings announced that they have placed defenseman Damir Sharipzianov on unconditional waivers, in order to terminate his contract.
The breaking news report was made by Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.
Back in 2017, it seemed like all that Sharipzianov wanted to do what to impress the Kings enough to return to the National Hockey League. After his rookie season in pro hockey, the Russian defenseman and Kings prospect was assigned back to the Kontinental Hockey League, where he spent all of last season with the Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.
When asked by the Hockey Writers back in 2017 why he had chosen to return home to play in the KHL, the young blue liner replied that it seemed to be the only way to play hockey for him that year.
"I had a chance to get back home. To be loaned [to the KHL]. And then to get back to North America. I simply want to play. I didn’t have this option [in North America] at this moment. That’s why I and my agent decided to give the KHL a chance."
The breaking news story does not mention if the Kings are looking to cut ties with the defenseman, or if Sharipzianov has decided to stay and grow in the KHL instead.
The young defender was also vert vocal at the time, regarding the NHL's decision to forbid players to take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The Athletes of Russia were crowned champions during the Olympic hockey tournament, and Sharipzianov had mentioned to the Hockey Writers how unfortunate NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's decision was to the sport.
"I think that it’s not a good decision. Olympic Games are what everyone really wants to participate in and represent their country. And I think that (to not) give this opportunity (to the players) is not correct."
Now full time in the KHL, with his contract with the Kings to be terminated as soon as he clears waivers on Thursday at noon, Sharipzianov will be able to compete, if he wishes, for a place of the next Olympic roster for the Russian team.