A mere hours after the NHL laid out the punishment for Ottawa's mishandling of the Evgeni Dadonov trade, the Ottawa Senators announced that General Manager Pierre Dorion has resigned from the role and has been relieved of his duties with the club.
This decision comes after the NHL supplied Senators owner Michael Andlauer with a 73 page report last week detailing that the Ottawa Senators were, indeed, at fault for not properly notifying the Vegas Golden Knights of Dadonov's no-trade clause. This negligent act led the Golden Knights to have a trade with the Anaheim Ducks involving Dadonov later revoked because the Ducks were on his no trade list - a list which the Golden Knights were not made aware of when they acquired Dadonov in 2021.
Dorion's tenure with the organization wasn't without its questions and drama. It could be accurately described as an intense rollercoaster with the highs of locking up a young core to reasonable, team-friendly deals and drafting players like Tim Stützle and Jake Sanderson and the lows of this situation, having to trade star defenseman Erik Karlsson, moving fan favourite Mark Stone for a less-than-value return and more.
Andlauer, during today's press conference, expressed a number of feelings and thoughts on the matter.
First, he repeated his stance on accountability within his organization.
Next, he understandable expressed his displeasure with inheriting this situation and how long it took the NHL to come to this decision.
Similarly, he spoke, with a few smirks, about how the previous regime highlighted this as a "non-issue", to which he's not sure how losing a first round pick is a non-issue.
Finally, he talked about how he doesn't agree with the severity of the punishment but accepts it as such.
Moving forward, current President of Hockey Operations Steve Staios will assume the role of Interim General Manager. When asked about what's next, Staios' first order of business will be to ensure a sense of stability is felt throughout the organization. While hiring a full-time, permanent General Manager is a priority, it won't be a process that is rushed. Staios appears to be ready to act as General Manager for as long as it takes to find the appropriate successor to Dorion. Further, at this time, there will be no changes behind the bench.
As fans, we should be frustrated by this entire situation but should seek some comfort in how Andlauer and Staios handled the press conference today. Both parties were transparent and answered every question they could to the best of their ability. Watching Andlauer speak eloquently in two different languages about the situation, sharing frustrations and thoughts on the path forward, it was a refreshing change of pace from how this team was once run.
With one of the final remaining pieces of the old administration out the door, a new era is certainly upon us in Ottawa.
As always, Go Sens Go.