Dadonov traded to Canadians by Golden Knights for Weber

Dadonov traded to Canadians by Golden Knights for Weber

Evgenii Dadonov was traded to the Montreal Canadiens by the Vegas Golden Knights for Shea Weber on Thursday.

Dadonov, a forward, had 43 points (20 goals, 23 assists) in 78 games for the Golden Knights this season. The 33-year-old was traded by Vegas to the Anaheim Ducks on March 21 for defenseman John Moore, forward Ryan Kesler and a conditional second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft or 2024 NHL Draft, but the NHL voided the trade, saying his contract included a limited no-trade clause that had not been complied with. Dadonov was back in the Golden Knights lineup three days later.

Vegas (43-31-8) missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in its four NHL seasons and hired Bruce Cassidy as coach Tuesday after it fired Peter DeBoer on May 16.

Dadonov signed a three-year, $15 million contract ($5 million average annual value) with the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 15, 2020, which included a limited no-trade clause. He was traded to the Golden Knights by the Senators for defenseman Nick Holden and a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft on July 28, 2021. Dadonov can become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

Selected by the Florida Panthers in the third round (No. 71) of the 2007 NHL Draft, Dadonov has 265 points (124 goals, 141 assists) in 413 regular-season games with the Panthers, Senators and Golden Knights. He has one assist in four Stanley Cup Playoff games.

“It’s a trade that helps both teams,” Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes said. “It gives Vegas the flexibility they needed. I think that everybody knows that they needed some flexibility under the salary cap this year. For us, it gives us flexibility in the future, if needed. Also, we bring a player that can help us offensively. I expect us to need to find more flexibility under the salary cap in the next years, so we’ll see what happens, but I think that he can help us next season.”

[RELATED: NHL Trade Tracker | Canadiens expect to have captain for 2022-23 season]

Weber, a defenseman who had been Canadiens captain since Oct. 1, 2018, did not play this season because of a foot/ankle injury, and it’s possible his career is over. He has five seasons remaining on a 14-year contract he signed with the Nashville Predators, who matched an offer sheet he was given by the Philadelphia Flyers prior to the 2012-13 season. It has an annual NHL salary cap charge of $7.85 million.

Montreal (22-49-11) finished last in the Eastern Conference this season.

“Everything that we’ve heard from our doctors is that physically he’s in really tough shape,” Hughes said. ” … If I thought he was coming back anytime soon, we wouldn’t be trading his contract. … We’ve always worked off the assumption here that Shea’s injuries are debilitating and will make it impossible for him to return to play.”

A second-round pick (No. 49) by the Nashville Predators at the 2003 NHL Draft, Weber has 589 points (224 goals, 365 assists) in 1,038 regular-season games with the Predators and Canadiens, and 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists) in 97 playoff games. He had six points in 22 postseason games in 2021, when he helped Montreal reach the Stanley Cup Final.

The Golden Knights said Weber, who turns 37 on Aug. 14, will remain on injured reserve.

“First of all, I would like to thank Shea for all that he has done for and represented to the Montreal Canadiens,” Hughes said. “Not only was Shea an exceptional hockey player who played through significant injuries in an attempt to bring the Stanley Cup back to Montreal, he was also a great leader whose leadership will have a positive impact on our team well beyond his time with us.

“I also want to welcome Evgenii Dadonov to our organization. He is a talented forward who has produced at all levels since the start of his career.”

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