Montreal Canadiens common supervisor (GM) Kent Hughes began his offseason of alternate with a mountain-sized determination, buying and selling “the man-mountain” himself, workforce captain Shea Weber in trade for Evgenii Dadonov of the Vegas Golden Knights.
This used to be an sudden industry, now not that Weber’s contract used to be going to be moved, however that the expectancy used to be that it might value the Canadiens further property to dump his $7.857 million cap hit. Hughes used to be ready to leverage Vegas’ want to create cap area and transfer Dadonov out, and he used to be ready to make the industry as a one-for-one deal. Now that Evgenii Dadonov is with the Canadiens group, what position may just he fill within the lineup and can he supply worth for a rebuilding franchise sooner or later?
Canadiens’ Wage Cap Implications
For this season, Dadonov, a 33-year-old winger who will likely be 34 on the finish of the 2022-23 season, will arrive in Montreal to play out the general 12 months of his three-year contract signed with the Ottawa Senators ahead of the 2020-21 season. He holds a cap hit of $5 million, alternatively, his wage for this ultimate season is $6.5 million.
This industry used to be purely for wage cap causes because it supplies each groups with some type of cap reduction. This provides Vegas some cap area, however for the Canadiens, it supplies a chance not to be in a long-term harm reserve (LTIR) state of affairs, being over the cap, which might create a cap overage for wage bonuses, particularly taking into consideration that the first-overall select this 12 months may have an advantage encumbered contract.
Kent Hughes spoke to the media following the industry and showed it used to be all concerning the cap area.
For us, it provides us flexibility sooner or later if we’d like it. We additionally upload a participant that may lend a hand us offensively, I be expecting that we’ll want to to find extra flexibility beneath the wage cap in the following couple of years, so we’ll see, however I believe he can lend a hand us subsequent 12 months.
– Kent Hughes
Whilst Hughes spoke of the wage cap being a big attention, he showed two different pieces. First, there will likely be extra to come back within the phrases of trades to make cap area and two, Dadonov will likely be used to lend a hand the younger lineup to begin the season.
What Dadonov Supplies the Canadiens
As Hughes mentioned at his press convention, he’s anticipated to lend a hand the Canadiens offensively this season. With a workforce in transition because of a rebuild, a veteran to play on a line with a tender participant, be it Nick Suzuki or whoever is drafted to start with general in 2022, both Logan Cooley or Shane Wright must be really helpful.
Offensively, Dadonov is a smart possibility for a workforce just like the Canadiens who depend on a transition sport. He nonetheless has excellent velocity, a robust and correct shot and a few playmaking talents. This makes him a forged complementary offensive participant for a top-six line. Defensively, he isn’t an possibility for a checking line, as his defensive positioning is suspect, and because of his dimension, he has a tendency to lose one-on-one battles alongside the forums. All of this makes him a deficient possibility in case you are on the lookout for a two-way participant.
When he signed with Ottawa, GM Pierre Dorion mentioned that “He’s an elite offensive ability and an excessively constant scorer as demonstrated by way of his level totals over the past 3 seasons. It is a key signing for us because it provides a participant who will lend a hand us produce offensively and one with a confirmed observe file at the power-play.” Whilst Dadonov’s output is now not a 25-plus function scorer, he has been ready to bop again from the 15 objectives he scored as a Senator to twenty objectives as a Golden Knight, which incorporated 5 objectives at the persistent play (PP).
If Montreal desires the most productive manufacturing out of Dadonov, they’ll want to keep away from the pitfalls Vegas had in his utilization. In Vegas, when positioned in a third-line position, he had problem generating offensively whilst additionally now not being a excellent defensive possibility. Dadonov must have offensively succesful gamers in an effort to play with, similar to Suzuki, as a complementary participant to profit from their talents. After the 2022 Industry Cut-off date noticed him block a industry to the Anaheim Geese, Dadonov used to be positioned in a top-six position the place he started to supply, scoring 16 issues within the final 16 video games of the season as Vegas attempted desperately, however failed, to earn a playoff berth, alternatively, it used to be now not for a loss of effort on Dadonov’s section in that ultimate stretch run.
The analytics group like Dadonov as he can generate scoring probabilities at five-on-five (5v5), and could also be ready to transform as smartly. By way of the tip of the 2021-22 season, he used to be the third-most used ahead with Vegas at 5v5 all season. His ownership statistics have been certain, with a Corsi-for share of 53.33, and anticipated objectives for share of 53.22. He used to be ready to lend a hand generate offence, and stay the puck clear of his zone, by way of producing 211 high-danger probabilities, which might position him first amongst forwards with the Canadiens, passing Jake Evans who used to be the highest ahead with 183. With the precise utilization, he might be on tempo to attain 20 objectives subsequent season.
At the PP, he scored 5 objectives. Whilst he gained’t be the wizard that can resolve a woeful Canadiens PP that completed 31st within the NHL at best 13.7 p.c, he generally is a helpful method to play in a taking pictures position on a second-wave PP, which would possibly upload a share level or two. Now not a big growth, however nonetheless an growth.
Dadonov may just additionally supply help in every other intangible means, culturally. Being Russian, he may just lend a hand Alexander Romanov combine himself extra very easily, as he can discuss to him in his local Russian in addition to supply priceless revel in for a participant who used to be ready to combine himself into the North American sport and tradition.
Turning into a Canadiens Industry Chip
As mentioned above, the 33-year-old winger is within the ultimate 12 months of his contract with a $5 million salary-cap hit. Now that he has been added to the Canadiens roster, he turns into a imaginable industry chip for Hughes to make use of this season. Within the post-Weber industry press convention, Hughes used to be requested about his plans for Dadonov this season.
“We predict that Dadonov can convey an offensive component to our workforce, we clearly want to reinforce our offensive aspect, he’ll be an unrestricted loose agent on the finish of the 12 months, it is going to rely on what occurs on the finish of the 12 months, however I’d fairly usher in a participant that would lend a hand us than to industry a draft select that would lend a hand us sooner or later.”
Those feedback level to the plan for Dadonov to start the season with the Canadiens. Alternatively, at no level did he brush aside the opportunity of buying and selling him at subsequent season’s industry time limit. If he can retain his manufacturing ranges from final season, which shouldn’t be a jump of religion as he spent a lot of his time on a line focused by way of Chandler Stephenson. Whilst he is also an underrated middle, he doesn’t have the offensive attainable of a Suzuki. With a productive Dadonov and an opportunity that the Habs may just retain as much as 50 p.c of his wage, his industry worth might be as excessive as a second-round select.
Dadonov’s arrival will lend a hand Hughes in his rebuild plans, as he can supplement the more youthful offensive gamers, and lend a hand at the PP, which is in determined want of it, and he can upload some cultural familiarity for Romanov. Maximum of all, he added him to offer cap flexibility in addition to to change into a industry possibility on the industry time limit so as to add extra property for the continued rebuild.
Blain is a typical contributor as a THW Author. For over 7 years he has been an element time journalist and podcaster masking the NHL, the Montreal Canadiens and its associates. He has made appearances on more than a few tv and radio stations in addition to podcasts to talk about the Canadiens, and the NHL. Blain has taken the teachings on integrity, ethics, values and honesty that he has realized as a 28 12 months veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and carried out them to his paintings as a journalist to lead him in informing his readers and his function of being a relied on supply of data and leisure.