Fantasy Take: Habs Trade Weber’s Contract To Vegas For Evgenii Dadonov
Vegas tried to trade winger Evgenii Dadonov back at the trade deadline, only to have it nixed because of his no-trade clause. With the team still need to free up cap space, it seemed likely he would be on the move sometime in the offseason. That came to fruition on Thursday night:
Shea Weber has four years left on his contract, according to Cap Friendly, but all reports are that he's played his last NHL game due to injury. With Weber's contract on long-term injured reserve, Vegas now actually has a few million in cap space. They do still have some pending restricted free agents to sign, but they have a bit of breathing room. That's what Vegas gets out of this: a bit of cap relief.
We do have to discuss the active NHLer included in the deal.
What Montreal gets
Dadonov has one year left on his deal at a $5M cap hit. He is going into his age-33 season and given that Montreal is just starting their rebuild, it's probably the only year he'll play for them. But they do need actual players to ice and this gives them close to a full roster with a few minor signings to make, including Alexander Romanov.
The Russian winger has had a very uneven career. His best years were back in Florida, when he had 182 points in 225 games spanning the 2017-20 seasons (a 66-point pace). He then signed in Ottawa, lasting just a year, before heading to Vegas. In the latter two seasons, he posted just 63 points in 133 games, a 39-point pace. A big decline in ice time, along with not playing alongside Aleksander Barkov, is a big factor here.
Curiously, Dadonov was still a good player this year for Vegas. He managed 1.85 points per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, which is about a low-end second-line scoring rate (55th percentile). Per Corey Sznajder, his controlled zone exit and entry rates were still well above average. His ability to help the team in transition led to positive impacts in both the offensive and defensive end of the rink (from Evolving Hockey):