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Dadonov – Weber trade a big salary cap win for Golden Knights

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Montreal Canadiens and Golden Knights combined for exciting Thursday trading. The short version is Evgenii Dadonov moves to the Canadiens in trade, while Shea Weberthe contract (tied to LTIR) allows the Golden Knights to lower the salary cap significantly.

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On the first hit, this seems like a huge trade-off for the Golden Knights.

Big salary cap cut for Golden Knights with Shea Weber, Canadiens trade Dadonov

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Canadiens receive: Evgenii Dadonov

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Golden Knights receive: Shea Weber

First hit a little weird in Montreal

Dadonov, 33, faces a $5 million cap for another season. Over the past three seasons, he has moved from the Panthers (2019-20) to the Senators (2020-21), the Golden Knights (2021-22), and finally the Canadiens. Of course Golden Knights tried to to settle salary cap issues with Dadonov’s exchange within the deadline. This move was declared invalid.

To Dadonov’s credit, he didn’t just dress up as the Golden Knights after that debacle. He was fantastic. Dadonov got to the point where he was the main reason Vegas stayed on the hunt for the playoffs. In the end, it wasn’t enough.

It’s still baffling that the Canadiens didn’t get any draft pick to sweeten this deal. Of course, it would have been ideal to break the contract with Shea Weber, but at least they created an atmosphere of a reenactor. Could this just be temporary?

Darren Draeger from TSN swam Jeff Petriename, leaning towards this possible move by Weber.

Let’s see if the Canadiens have other tricks up their sleeve. (There is always the possibility that they are luring Dadonov into a future deal as well.)

Then again, maybe it was just worth terminating Weber’s contract?

Weber’s no-waiver contract: Salary cap swap for Golden Knights

The logic of the Dadonov-Weber trade is easiest to see from the side of the Golden Knights.

  • Most importantly, the Golden Knights got rid of that blow to Dadonov’s $5 million salary cap.
  • They are likely to increase their salary cap with Shea Weber’s contract. The maximum income of a 36-year-old football player is about $7.857 million per year until 2025-2026.

Put that limit on LTIR and that’s almost $8 million in space. So, really, this deal is sort of a swing in the salary cap for the Golden Knights by almost $13 million.

Weber’s actual cost is also lower than his cap.

In 2022-23, he owes a $3 million signing bonus (probably already paid) plus $1 million in base salary. For the next three seasons (from 2023-24 to 2025-26), Weber was owed a $1 million signing bonus plus $1 million in base salary. It is also possible that factors such as insurance can mitigate these already manageable costs.

There may also be some ambiguity if Weber will retire (instead of retiring on a payroll, Chris Pronger style).

[Earlier this week, Golden Knights hired Bruce Cassidy as head coach]

So… yes, the deal between Dadonov and Weber seems like a huge win over the Golden Knights salary cap. They still have some serious work to do this offseason, but Montreal has really lightened the burden on Vegas. It remains a compelling fact that the Golden Knights pulled it off without even getting a marginal draft pick.

In the end, they almost forked out in the second round to the Ducks.

Among other things, applicants should remember this as another lesson. You could also just actbecause there is almost always another team waiting to bail you out. Sometimes cheap.

James O’Brien writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

James O’Brien writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

James O’Brien writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.


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