According to Hockeybuzz's very own John Jaeckel, the Chicago Blackhawks were pursuing KHL star Vadim Shipachyov as a free agent. Sadly, even if it was a serious consideration for Chicago, the chance has vanished into thin air. Multiple sources reported today that Shipachyov has resigned with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL. Reports from habseyesontheprize.com say that talks between Shipachyov and NHL teams hit a snag and he is reportedly set to have a pay increase from 1.73 million dollars to 2.53 million dollars. Shipachyov was a very highly sought after player after leading the IIHF World Championship Tournament in Moscow with 18 points in only 10 games. The next highest scorer in the tournament... was Artemi Panarain. The Chicago Blackhawks forward played on the same line as Shipachyov and with the third highest scorer Yevgeni Dadanov. They were arguably the most entertaining line to watch in the entire tourney. It comes to no surprise that the Hawks were pursuing the Russian forward. He has chemistry with one of their youngest stars and now top players behind arguably only Patrick Kane. The real question is, how much money would have cost the Hawks to lure the Russian to the NHL? First off, the Hawks are struggling with the cap. Reports have already said that Andrew Ladd will not resign because of the cap problems and Hawks fans can assume that Dale Weise, Tomas Fleischmann and Christian Ehrhoff will all also become free agents come July 1st. To add to the current cap issues, Andrew Shaw, who Joel Quenneville called "irreplaceable", is in need of a new contract, as well as the emerging Richard Panik. Fans can safely assume Panik will resign for a low amount to fit within the cap for the Hawks. However, Shaw may want as much or more than Marcus Kruger (who will make $3.083 million AAV) and Seabrook, Anisimov and Kruger himself all have cap hits increasing between $1 million and $1.5 million dollars. If the cap sits at $74.1 million for next season, which is believed to be optimistic, then the Hawks have roughly $2.4 million dollars in cap space, which should be used toward extending Panarin but that's a whole other story. So with all that math and movement, how much could the Hawks have offered Shipachyov without causing too many problems? $1.5 million? $1 million? 900k with many performance bonuses (similar possibly to a Panarin type deal)? It would take quite a bit to entice Shipachyov especially with the healthy raise he is receiving from SKA St. Pete. So what would have to happen? Three crazy ideas: Trade Anisimov: Crazy, I know. Especially since he is the only remaining piece from the Brandon Saad trade last offseason and the Hawks gave him a 5-year contract extension... don't worry it won't happen. He does sign and plays the wing: Does he play the RW with Anisimov and Panarin? Does that allow them to play Toews and Kane together and drop Hossa into a top 9 role? Does he remain at center and cause Anisimov to drop to the third line? The last is kind of out there, but the others? Not so far off as crazy. He does sign and doesn't play with his countrymen: Could Shipachyov become the LW that Toews needs to be successful? He would provide another valuable scorer on the powerplay and he could play anywhere in the lineup if Coach Q gets creative, as he already likes to do. Overall, it would have been interesting. He would have added a lot of value especially since he found success with Artemi Panarin. But, in the end he stays home with SKA St. Petersburg and the Hawks continue to weed out the cap problems that will potentially cause headaches for management, coaches, players and fans alike. Thanks for reading! P.S. This is my first blog, please let me know what you think! Constructive criticism is always welcomed!