Evgenii Dadonov has been traded by the Vegas Golden Knights, for real this time.
After attempting to trade him at the NHL Trade Deadline, Vegas has shipped Dadonov out of town. While the original trade destination back in March was the Anaheim Ducks, he is now on his way to the Montreal Canadiens.
In return, the Golden Knights will acquire former Nashville Predators and Canadiens captain Shea Weber. After missing last season due to injuries, Weber will stay on the long-term injured reserve.
The move makes sense for both teams. Vegas gets some much-needed cap flexibility, and Montreal gets a veteran player that can help them in the short term.
For Dadonov, though, this trade is the latest step in a regression that he has been in since he left the Florida Panthers.
What happened to Evgenii Dadonov?
As a member of the Panthers, Dadonov eclipsed the 65-point mark in back-to-back seasons while scoring 25 or more goals in three straight campaigns.
He used that production to earn himself a three-year contract with the Ottawa Senators worth $5 million per season. He spent only one of those seasons with the Sens before being traded to the Golden Knights in July of 2021.
He mustered only 20 points (13 goals and seven assists) in 55 games in Ottawa while registering a career-worst minus-9 rating.
In his lone season with Vegas, Dadonov rebounded by scoring 43 points (20 goals and 23 assists) in 78 games. Still, that production doesn’t warrant a $5 million paycheck, so Vegas tried to trade him to clear cap space during the season.
For as good as he was in Sunrise, Dadonov has had nothing go his way since his departure. Montreal will be his third team in as many seasons, and he’s moving from a club with championship expectations to one that is coming off a last-place finish.
The Habs have already laid the foundation for their future by making Martin St. Louis their full-time head coach, but this is still a project that will take several more seasons than Dadonov will offer them.
Will the 33-year-old be able to right the ship this season? He probably doesn’t have a choice if he wants to continue his NHL career beyond the next year or two.