The Vegas Golden Knights have traded Evgenii Dadonov after all. On Thursday after an introduction with new head coach Bruce Cassidy in the morning, the Golden Knights and general manager Kelly McCrimmon announced that they have traded Dadonov to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Shea Weber and his $7.857 million LTIR cap savings.
It is highly unlikely that the 36-year old Weber will ever play an NHL game again as he missed the entire 2021-22 season with lower-body injuries and the Canadiens kept their former captain on LTIR. Weber has since tacitly admitted his injured ankle will not be up to the rigors of the NHL again, though he had one final playoff run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, which Vegas Golden Knights fans probably remember too well.
The Golden Knights have already announced that they will be keeping Weber on LTIR for the remaining four years of his contract. This move gives the Golden Knights cap relief from not only trading out Dadonov’s contract but also gives them LTIR money to work with through Weber’s contract.
By acquiring Weber’s contract, the Golden Knights will be able to exceed the NHL salary cap by nearly the entirety of Weber’s contract sum. The NHL tabulation is teams may exceed the cap by the value of the LTIR contract minus remaining salary cap space. So, for each of the next four Octobers, the Vegas Golden Knights GM will get as close to the cap as possible, then place Weber on LTIR, maximizing the Golden Knights’ salary cap overage potential.
Dadonov was acquired by the Golden Knights in the 2021 offseason and was one of the first players McCrimmon brought in with the cap space freed up thanks to the Marc-Andre Fleury trade. In his lone season with the Golden Knights, Dadonov scored 20 goals, 23 assists, and 43 points in 78 games.
At the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, Dadonov was seemingly traded to the Anaheim Ducks in a similar cap-dump move. But a no-movement clause in Dadonov’s contract that prohibited a trade to the Ducks was not unknown to McCrimmon and thus the NHL voided the trade.
After weeks of silence, the Golden Knights have made two substantial moves in preparation for the 2022-23 season. On Tuesday, the team hired Bruce Cassidy as their new head coach, and now just two days later have made their first offseason move.
The Golden Knights missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in team history in 2021-22.
They have Mattias Janmark and Reilly Smith to sign as notable unrestricted free agents and Nicolas Roy, Keegan Kolesar, Nicolas Hague, and Brett Howden to sign as restricted free agents.