By JD Lagrange – The Montreal Canadiens were trying to unload Shea Weber’s contract. Many people felt like the Arizona Coyotes were the likely destination for him, as they are trying to reach the salary cap floor. But instead, the Vegas Golden Knights, another team in cap hell, were the most creative by freeing up over $12 million of cap space.
Kelly McCrimmon, GM of the Golden Knights, sent Evgeni Dandonov and his one-year, $5 million dollar cap hit, to the Canadiens and acquired Shea Weber’s contract, he who likely will never play hockey again. Why is it creative? Because not only does Vegas unload $5 million in cap space, they now can surpass the cap by a maximum of the value of Weber’s cap hit, which sits at $7.857 million for four more seasons. So ultimately, the Golden Knights have freed-up a potential of $12.857 million in cap expenditure with that trade.
As for Kent Hughes and the Canadiens, they a 33 year-old winger on the final year of his contract. Dandonov managed 20 goals and 43 points in 78 games last season in Vegas. While his cap hit sits at $5 million, his actual salary is $6.5 million. But hey… we’re not the ones forking out the money, right? That’s on Geoff Molson.
Further, while acquiring a 33 year-old on a fairly expansive contract doesn’t make sense for the Canadiens next season, we can expect at least one of Jonathan Drouin, Mike Hoffman or Dandonov himself to be traded this summer. Drouin and Dandonov are in the final year of their contract, so if I were a betting man, I’d wager on Hoffman being traded. If the Habs aren’t in a playoffs’ position by trade deadline, Drouin and Dandonov could be trade baits at that time.
The tweet of the day may just belong to a NHL team Twitter that has nothing to do with the trade. As the Golden Knights announced the trade, they worded it as acquiring Shea Weber. The Anaheim Ducks replied: “You sure?”
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