The saga is over.
The NHL announced on Wednesday that the league has officially voided the trade that would have sent Vegas Golden Knights forward Evgenii Dadonov and a second-round draft pick to Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman John Moore and the contract of Ryan Kesler, putting an end to the proposed deal that was originally reported on Monday.
"The National Hockey League announced today that it has invalidated Monday's trade of Player Evgenii Dadonov from Vegas to Anaheim," the league said in a statement.
"The trade could not be conducted because Dadonov's contract includes a limited no-trade clause, which has not been complied with"
As the situation stands, the three-year, $15 million contract that Dadonov signed with the Ottawa Senators in 2020 features a limited no-trade clause that includes the Ducks as one of the places Dadonov to which was contractually allowed to veto a trade. The Golden Knights, however, reportedly claimed to be unaware of this clause being in effect on Monday, seemingly stating that Ottawa either did not disclose it this past offseason or that Dadonov did not file it in time ahead of his trade to Vegas, and dealt him to the Ducks anyway, therein violating the clause in Dadonov's contract.
No information has been given as to what the true cause of the misunderstanding was. But Dadonov will remain a Golden Knight until at least the end of the season, it seems.
This was not an insignificant move on Vegas' part, either.
With the Golden Knights currently sitting with $15 million in salary on long-term injured reserve, the $2.25 million in cap space they would have cleared by swapping out Dadonov for Moore, and the $6.75 million of Kesler's contract they could have placed on LTIR would have allowed them to activate Mark Stone upon his return to the lineup. As it stands now, the Golden Knights do not have the financial ability to welcome their captain back, with the team needing to find a way to fit his $9.5 million cap hit back under the cap in order to add him to the active roster.
With the trade deadline now come and gone, Vegas is more or less handcuffed when it comes to making other money-clearing moves, thrusting their ability to ice their optimal lineup when healthy into serious question.