The Ottawa Senators made an abrupt change at general manager Wednesday after the NHL decided to dock them a first-round draft pick for their role in a trade between two other teams that was invalidated last year.
Owner Michael Andlauer announced that longtime GM Pierre Dorion had resigned and would be replaced on an interim basis by Steve Staios. Andlauer said the team being forced to forfeit a first-rounder in 2024, 2025 or 2026 was the last straw that led him to make a change with the organization’s hockey operations department.
“We were negligent,” said Andlauer, who took over control of the team in September after agreeing to buy the franchise in June. “Our duty of care was ignored. … At the end of the day, we were downright negligent.”
The league announced the punishment hours earlier, nearly 22 months since the trade in question led to an investigation and found Ottawa’s front office at fault.
The Senators traded forward Evgenii Dadonov to Vegas in July 2021 and failed to supply the Golden Knights with the player’s 10-team no-trade list. Vegas attempted to send Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks in March 2022 before the move was nixed by NHL Central Registry because he had not waived his no-trade clause.
Andlauer said he received a 73-page report about the situation, which embarrassed the NHL.
“As a member of this league, we have to be held accountable for our actions,” he said at a hastily called news conference in Ottawa.
Dadonov remained with Vegas for the rest of that season before being traded to Montreal in June 2022. He now plays for Dallas after the Canadiens traded him to the Stars in February.
Ottawa has until 24 hours after the draft lottery each of the next two years to decide whether to give up its next first-round pick.
Andlauer said he did not know of the investigation until after buying the Senators. It is the second related to the team in recent weeks after unsigned forward Shane Pinto was suspended 41 games for violating the league’s gambling policy.
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