Evgenii Dadonov trade in dispute due to potential violation of no-trade clause, per reports

This is far from over.

Note: This story has been updated.

The Vegas Golden Knights’ Evgenii Dadonov trade situation has devolved into a tangled web of confusion.

The matter is currently being investigated by the NHL and NHLPA and is officially in dispute, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

The Vegas Golden Knights traded Dadonov and a conditional second-round pick to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman John Moore and the contract of Ryan Kesler Monday afternoon prior to the NHL Trade Deadline.

Or so they thought.

The deal was not made official until hours after the deadline due to what many assumed was a delay with Central Registry, which processes all NHL trades. But according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the delay may have been caused by a paperwork issue, as the NHL did not have Dadonov’s original no-trade list on file.

The Golden Knights released a statement via Twitter on Monday evening that they had “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.”

Multiple reports indicate that the trade is being reviewed due to a potential violation of Dadonov’s modified no-trade clause.

According to CapFriendly, Dadonov’s three-year contract — signed with the Ottawa Senators in October of 2020 — includes a modified no-trade clause, which allows him to submit a 10-team no-trade list.

That list reportedly includes the Anaheim Ducks, which should have nullified this deal.

For some reason, it did not.

Update: March 22

That reason may have become more clear on Tuesday, as the disconnect does appear to stem from the original trade call between Ottawa and Vegas.

On that original call, the Golden Knights and the NHL were “led to believe” that the no-trade list had expired or had not been filed properly, thus invalidating that protection, according to Friedman. However, Dadonov filed the paperwork properly and did so ahead of the July 1 deadline (June 30).

That trade call took place on July 28.

It’s unclear why something so critical was lost in translation, though the most likely (and ideal) culprit is simple miscommunication. However, it does appear to explain the confusion surrounding this unfortunate situation, why Vegas went ahead with the deal and why the NHL processed it.

What that means for the parties involved has yet to be determined.

However, multiple reports suggest that the trade likely will be voided, though a decision has not yet been made.

The latest speculation, however, is that the trade will be voided.

Hockey Insider Darren Dreger said as much in an interview on TSN 1200 on Tuesday.

“We know that Central Registry and the NHL were definitely doing their investigation earlier today in consult, by the way, with the National Hockey League Players’ Association. ... The fact that Central Registry is involved in the investigation is interesting...because it feels like that’s where maybe the process broke down a little bit, if not a lot.”

He explained that Vegas’ position is that when the Golden Knights made the original trade call with the Senators on July 28, Ottawa did not declare or report the no-trade list.

Now we’re learning that no, it was filed in time by the Ottawa Senators. So how is it exactly that the NHL doesn’t know that Evgenii Dadonov has a 10-team no-trade list? It’s a wild one. More and more it smells like this deal is going to get voided, and if it does, then there’s endless questions as to what happens with the Vegas Golden Knights in terms of how do they comply with the salary cap when players are coming back.

Dreger also suggested that Vegas isn’t getting any favors, and that all teams, but particularly those directly competing against Vegas for a playoff spot, “have got to be clamoring for an end result here.”

It’s pretty clear by the messaging from the Vegas Golden Knights yesterday, they did not known this, and felt like the NHL did not know this. How that’s conceivable when you can pop on a website like CapFriendly and see the modified no-trade list, the no-move list, all of that. ... I wonder if this isn’t a breakdown at the Central Registry level first, and if it is, then that’s a problem that will have to be remedied very quickly.

He said it will be a major point of discussion at the upcoming general manager meetings.

If the Dadonov deal is voided, the Golden Knights will be unable to comply with the salary cap if players like Mark Stone and Alec Martinez return from long-term injured reserve.

The trade deadline has come and gone, so there are no additional moves the Knights can make; this is unprecedented and remains an ongoing investigation.

Whether the Golden Knights were made aware of this list on the original trade call — when they acquired Dadonov from Ottawa on July 28, 2021 — seems to be a pivotal detail in this mess.

There was speculation that there may have been an issue surrounding the actual submission of the list. But according to multiple reports, Dadonov is confident that it was filed on time.

Dadonov is in the second year of a three-year contract carrying an AAV of $5 million, so the move is of significant consequence to the cap-strapped Golden Knights.

Vegas traded its 2022 second-round pick along with defenseman Nick Holden to Ottawa in exchange for Dadonov last summer. He recorded at least 25 goals in three straight seasons with Florida but struggled in his one season with the Senators and has been unable to get back on track in Vegas.

The 33-year-old has 15 goals and 27 points in 62 games with the Golden Knights this season, but he scored 10 of those in the first 55.

Moore has 38 goals and 118 points in 544 career regular-season games with the Blue Jackets, Rangers, Coyotes, Devils and Bruins. However, he has a concussion and will remain at his home in Boston, according to general manager Kelly McCrimmon.

Kesler is on an expiring contract with a cap hit of $6.875 million, but a hip injury has kept him out of commission since 2018-19, making him a candidate for long-term injured reserve; he has 258 goals and 573 points in 1,001 career games with the Canucks and Ducks.

No matter what happens with this trade, it likely won’t end well for Vegas or Dadonov.

If the deal goes through, it’s still a major distraction and another instance of management’s questionable treatment of players; if it doesn’t, Dadonov will be forced to play for a team that clearly doesn’t want him, and team chemistry could take a hit as a result.