The Golden Knights freed up plenty of cap space yesterday with the trade of Marc-Andre Fleury to Chicago. A good chunk of that money will be used on winger Evgenii Dadonov as ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reports (Twitter link) that Vegas is acquiring the veteran from the Senators in exchange for defenseman Nick Holden and a 2022 third-round draft pick. The Senators have confirmed the deal.
Dadonov, 32, was a surprising signing by the Senators last off-season, as the rebuilding club landed one of the top veteran forwards on the open market. The results were underwhelming, as Dadonov’s streak of three straight seasons of 25+ goals was snapped with just 13 tallies this year, a 19-goal full season pace. Dadonov was exposed by Ottawa in the Expansion Draft, but the Seattle Kraken opted to take affordable third-string goalie Joey Daccord instead. It seems that the team moved forward in their efforts to move on from Dadonov and have found a trade partner in the suddenly-flexible Golden Knights.
Vegas has now used up much of their cap space though, adding Dadonov’s $5MM AAV without any retention from the Senators and only shipping out veteran defenseman Nick Holden, who spent much of last season buried in the AHL at a minimal cap hit. In need of a backup goalie, depth on defense, and a new contract for RFA center Nolan Patrick, the Knights currently have just over $2.5MM in cap space. Nevertheless, Dadonov does address the team’s need for more offense and should shine on the veteran roster.
Ottawa meanwhile lands a solid veteran defenseman in Holden to help develop their young blue line as well as a valuable draft pick. They make good use of a contract that they no longer wanted on the books, especially without having to eat any salary.