The Ottawa Senators suddenly find themselves at the centre of what could become a major scandal involving their trade of Evgenii Dadonov to the Vegas Golden Knights, and Vegas’ subsequent attempt to trade the forward to the Anaheim Ducks before yesterday’s trade deadline.
Hours after the Dadonov to Anaheim trade was announced, rumours started circulating that there was something holding the transaction up and eventually Vegas issued the following statement:
We have become aware of an issue with respect to the trade. We have been consulting with the league office. We will provide further information once it becomes available. #VegasBorn— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 22, 2022
Elliotte Friedman, who is as plugged in as anyone, tweeted the following:
Latest on Dadonov: Somehow, on trade call from Ottawa to Vegas (a team Dadonov could not block), Golden Knights and NHL were led to believe protection had expired/not filed properly. But, there is correspondence proving no-trade paperwork filed correctly (and on-time) June 30.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 22, 2022
When Dadonov signed with the Sens in 2020, his deal included a 10 team no-trade clause. In order for the clause to remain in effect, the player is required to file a new list each off-season. Before July 1st, 2021, Dadonv would have had to file a list of ten teams to whom he could not be traded for the 2021-22 season. Based on Friedman’s reporting, it does seem that the list was filed — and that Anaheim was one of the teams on it. The Golden Knights were not, which is why Dadonov was able to be traded to Vegas in the first place.
At the time of the Ottawa-Vegas trade, in July 2021, normal trade call protocol would have required that the Sens disclose the no-trade clause status and the affected teams. This part is key because, comically, it appears that the league does not maintain a central registry with all of the no-trade clauses and the affected teams. The league and the team acquiring the player with the NTC are reliant upon the team that is doing the trading to disclose the necessary information. What Friedman is reporting is that Vegas, and, critically, the NHL, came to believe that Dadonov’s NTC was no longer in effect on that trade call.
The details of why this is the case are extremely scarce, and Friedman’s tweet leaves open the door for any number of ways this could be true, but the implication is explosive: through either neglect or malice, the Sens let Vegas and the league believe the NTC was void and therefore that Dadonov could be traded to Anaheim. One thing that Friedman stresses in his reporting is that he has been told by multiple sources that Dadonov did indeed file the necessary paperwork to keep his no-trade clause in good standing on time. How the league and Vegas came to believe it was no longer valid is a burning question.
Below is a radio segment Friedman did with Jeff Marek where he elaborates on the above tweet:
"The wildest thing to me is... how did this trade get approved?"@FriedgeHNIC joins @JeffMarek to help make sense of what's complicating Evgenii Dadonov's trade to Anaheim— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) March 22, 2022
There are a lot of questions that have to be answered, and none of the NHL, Vegas, Anaheim, or the Sens have provided comment beyond Vegas’ tweet above. This is a developing story and we will post updates as they become available.