The Montreal Canadiens have sold their captain, defender Shea Weber, to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for forward Evgenii Dadonov.
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The transaction was confirmed Thursday by general manager Kent Hughes.
“I think it was an exchange that worked for both teams. It will allow Vegas to have more flexibility on payroll. […] For our part, we have gained flexibility for the next few years, ”Habs CEO said at a press conference.
Weber did not play in 2021-22 due to injuries. In a statement, the Golden Knights said the 36-year-old guard’s name will remain on the Long-Term Injured List (LTIR) until his contract ends.
There are four seasons left on Weber’s contract, who signed a 14-year contract worth $ 7,857 million annually in July 2012. However, he will only receive $ 3 million next year and $ 1 million subsequent seasons.
Hughes said Weber’s contract swapping wasn’t a priority, but uncertainty about goalkeeper Carey Price’s future accelerated it.
“It was not essential to make this switch this summer, but it would have become a problem if Carey was unable to play. Having nearly $ 20 million on our LTIR would have been problematic for us at the end of next season. “
“It would have limited our ability to spend to build the best possible team on the ice.”
Price is not sure if he will be able to play again, as he is still hampered by the knee injury that kept him off the ice for the vast majority of last season.
“We would have been badly taken, indicated the DG. The other teams would have known and perhaps the price to trade Shea Weber would have been higher. “
Hughes also said there were still no updates on his masked man’s condition.
An offensive player
The general manager of Habs is therefore happy that he did not have to give much to get rid of Weber’s contract. He is also glad he got his hands on a player who can impact him training him.
“We believe that Dadonov can help us in an offensive way,” he said repeatedly.
The 33-year-old Russian scored 43 points in 78 games with the Golden Knights last season. He will become an unlimited free agent at the end of the 2022-2023 season. Dadonov will thus spend the last season of a three-year contract that will earn him an average of $ 5 million per season. His deal is protected by a no-trade clause that allows him to submit a list of 10 teams to which he refuses to be sold.
“Is it my intention to trade Dadonov? No. The plan is that he will play for us next season, Hughes said. Could he be redeemed when the trade expires? We will listen, but it is not our plan. “