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Senators Sign Dadonov to Three-Year Contract

October 15, 2020, 3:47 PM ET [79 Comments]
Michael Stuart
Ottawa Senators Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Ottawa Senators announced this afternoon that they have signed forward Evgenii Dadonov, formerly of the Florida Panthers, to a three-year contract worth $15-million. On the ice, the move provides the Senators with a proven, veteran, effective presence on the wing; off the ice, it’s a demonstration that the team is both able to spend on and attract premier free agents.

Dadonov, who turned 31 earlier this year, has a resume that speaks for itself. In 280 career National Hockey League games, he has tallied 91 goals and 202 points. He has a track record of consistency, having notched at least 25 goals in each of his first three full seasons with the Panthers. Where the Senators clearly weren’t willing to commit big dollars to Anthony Duclair’s half-season hot streak, they were willing to do so here. It certainly feels like a safer on-ice investment.

When it comes to money, both the term and dollar value are really, really good for Ottawa. Three years for a 31-year-old forward carries little risk, and an average of $5M per season helps the team get to the salary cap floor while also being very fair relative to the value that Dadonov is expected to bring. In fact, the Senators are projected by some to be getting a decent bargain here:

The bottom line is that the Senators have acquired a very nice player at a very reasonable price. No matter how you slice it, that’s a win for the franchise.

The obvious x-factor in evaluating this signing is, as mentioned, the signal it sends to the market. Dadonov was reportedly a hot commodity, with as many as 10 teams reaching out with interest. The Senators being able to win out over those other franchises without having to overpay is great sign that people view this organization as moving in the right direction. The opportunity for a free agent to come in and succeed with so much young talent is clearly something that helped Dadonov make this decision.

In summary, I would go as far as describing this signing as one of the best unrestricted free agent signings made league-wide this offseason. Dadonov was a player near the top of most free agent ranking lists, and the Senators were able to ink him to a very reasonable contract. Job well done, Pierre Dorion.

As always, thanks for reading.
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