The NHL has officially invalidated the Evgenii Dadonov trade between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Anaheim Ducks from Monday. In a statement, the league explained:
The trade could not be concluded because Dadonov’s contract includes a limited no-trade clause, which has not been complied with.
The invalidated trade, which would have seen the Golden Knights clear enough cap space to activate at least Alec Martinez from long-term injured reserve when he is ready to return, now raises plenty of questions about what comes next for Vegas. To clarify, the team is still able to trade Dadonov to another team not on his no-trade list, but he would then be ineligible to play again for the rest of the season and playoffs unless the NHL made an exemption in this case. The Arizona Coyotes were discussed as a potential landing spot on today’s 32 Thoughts podcast between Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman, though it is unclear at this point whether the two sides would be able to reach a deal.
Even if they do, Dadonov, through no fault of his own, is now in a very tricky situation. The Golden Knights were obviously ready to move on from him–the trade was originally confirmed by the league, making him a Duck for a short time–but if he now goes somewhere else he’ll miss a chance to play for the rest of this year. He would still collect his owed salary, and be able to play next season on his current contract which extends through 2022-23.
It also is a tough blow for Anaheim, who had not only grabbed a useful forward but cleared two contracts that weren’t helping them and added a conditional second-round draft pick. It looked like a big win for the Ducks, who have made out with a huge haul of future assets at the deadline by trading off several expiring contracts of their own.
The biggest question among the entire situation is how the NHL Central Registry approved the trade in the first place. Friedman tweeted yesterday that the league and Golden Knights were “led to believe” that Dadonov’s no-trade list had expired in some fashion, though there then turned up proof that he had submitted it on time.
For the Golden Knights, CapFriendly breaks down the situation. With Dadonov back on the roster, they would now need to clear $4.84MM in order to activate Martinez, and a total of $9.1MM to activate captain Mark Stone. Again, any player traded after the deadline is ineligible for not just the playoffs, but the rest of the regular season as well.