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Canadiens trade captain Shea Weber to Golden Knights for Evgenii Dadonov

Montreal deals defenseman to Vegas for forward.

Shea Weber #6 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning during Game Four of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Bell Centre on July 05, 2021 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens have traded captain Shea Weber to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for forward Evgenii Dadonov. The deal is one-for-one (sorry to any Oilers fans in advance). Weber missed the entire 2021-22 NHL season on long-term injured reserve, but has four years remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $7.8 million per season.

As Pierre LeBrun points out, the actual money on Weber’s contract is lower since the deal was front-loaded. Weber signed the contract back in 2012, before changes to the CBA prevented these types of deals from being worked out. There’s a chance Weber just retires and isn’t paid the rest of the deal or he sits on LTIR and the cap hit doesn’t affect Vegas. Ultimately, it’s a move so Montreal doesn’t have to worry about Weber’s deal anymore. Here’s what Canadiens GM Kent Hughes had to say on the deal:

“First of all, I would like to thank Shea for all that he has done for and represented to the Montreal Canadiens,” Hughes told the Canadiens’ website. “Not only was Shea an exceptional hockey player who played through significant injuries in an attempt to bring the Stanley Cup back to Montreal, he was also a great leader whose leadership will have a positive impact on our team well beyond his time with us. I also want to welcome Evgenii Dadonov to our organization. He is a talented forward who has produced at all levels since the start of his career.”

As for Dadonov, he’s on an expiring contract. He’ll make $5 million in the 2022-23 season for Montreal. So this was essentially a salary dump on the Golden Knights’ end. Vegas was already projected to have very little cap space heading into the offseason. Dadonov off the books and Weber on LTIR or retired, means Vegas has a bit more flexibility to sign free agents and restricted free agents. Really, it’s money that will be allocated to sign RFA C Nicolas Roy to a new contract. RW Keegan Kolesar is also a RFA and will need a bridge deal.

Dadonov had 20 goals and 43 points in 78 games for the Golden Knights this past season. He has some value as a middle-six wing who can score and create offense. The Habs are in the midst of a rebuild after surprising everyone and advancing to the Stanley Cup Final in 2021. This past regular season, Montreal last in the Atlantic Division with 55 points and will have the No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 NHL Draft, which will be held at Bell Centre in Montreal in July.