March 22: After news broke last night that there was an issue with this trade, Darren Dreger of TSN tweets that it is still being reviewed by the NHL Central Registry and the NHLPA. The issue stems from a no-trade clause that was not disclosed by the Ottawa Senators when Dadonov was originally traded to Vegas, despite it being public knowledge at the time.
March 21: After much speculation throughout the day, the Evgenii Dadonov trade has finally gone through this evening reports TSN’s Chris Johnston. In addition to Dadonov, also heading to the Anaheim Ducks is a conditional second-round draft choice, which will be determined by the conditions of a draft pick previously traded to the Buffalo Sabres. In exchange, the Vegas Gold Knights acquire defenseman John Moore and the contract of forward Ryan Kesler.
This deal had been reported and all but confirmed earlier today before the NHL’s 3:00 pm EST trading deadline, however it had not been processed through NHL Central Registry and was not official until this evening. As Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman explains, the trade would have been accepted had it been submitted to Central Registry before the deadline, however that would have made Dadonov and Moore ineligible to play for the rest of the season. However, it appears the trade was submitted in time.
This trade was, for the most part, a salary cap deal. By sending Dadonov to Anaheim, Vegas clears his $5MM salary cap hit for this year and next year. However, by acquiring Moore, they absorb his $2.75MM cap hit, but that will lower to $1.625MM if they bury Moore in the AHL. In acquiring Kesler’s contract, Vegas can put him straight onto LTIR and have no net impact on their salary cap. All told, Vegas, will save $3.375MM in cap space, in exchange for a second-round draft pick and any production they will miss from Dadonov.
For Anaheim, the team has allowed Vegas to navigate a tricky cap situation, and was compensated for doing so with a second-round draft choice. The condition on the draft pick, as mentioned, concerns the Jack Eichel trade with Buffalo. If Vegas’ first-round draft choice in 2022 is in the top ten, then Vegas will send their 2024 second-round pick to Buffalo instead of the 2023 second-round draft pick originally reported in the Eichel deal. In other words, if Vegas’ first-round pick in 2022 is in the top 10, Anaheim receives their 2023 second-round draft choice; otherwise, they will receive Vegas’ 2024 second-round draft choice. Regardless, this move represents further precedent of the cost of shedding salary cap for a team that desperately needs to do so.
Not to be forgotten, the Ducks also acquire Dadonov, who has played in 62 games for Vegas this year, amassing 15 goals and 12 assists in the process, which replaces a good deal of the production Anaheim lost by trading Rickard Rakell away to the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier today. Dadonov also has an additional year under contract at $5MM for next year.