If Evgenii Dadonov does hold any ill will to the Vegas Golden Knights organization due to their efforts to trade him, he certainly didn’t show it on Thursday night, registering a goal and two helpers in a 6-1 win over the Nashville Predators.
The 33-year-old was put in a very awkward position earlier this week. On trade deadline day, it was announced he had been dealt to the Anaheim Ducks. The issue, however, was that he has a 10-team no trade list built into his contract, and the Ducks happened to be one of those teams. This resulted in the NHL vetoing the trade days later, and meant Evgenii Dadonov was still a member of the Golden Knights. He admitted after Thursday’s game that waiting on the league’s decision was tough on him.
“I would say it was a couple stressful days,” Dadonov said. “Nothing I could do, I was just waiting on a decision,”
That decision made by the league won’t be an easy pill to swallow for the Golden Knights organization, as they were needing to move out money in order to activate Alec Martinez from long-term injured reserve. Despite the tricky cap situation they are in, however, Jonathan Marchessault made it clear post-game that the players are thrilled to have Dadonov back in the locker room.
“I thought it was great,” Marchessault said when asked about the warm ovation Dadonov got from Golden Knights fans. “It was obviously kind of an unusual situation that we faced as an organization, and I think the crowd responded well. He’s been great for us all year. He just keeps doing what he does best and he gives us a chance to win hockey games. He played great tonight.”
Thanks in large part to Dadonov’s performance, the Golden Knights were able to pick up a huge win as they try to stay in the playoff race. With the victory, they find themselves three points shy of the Edmonton Oilers for third in the Pacific Division, and trail the Dallas Stars by just a single point for the final wild card position in the Western Conference. They will have a chance to make up more ground Saturday afternoon in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks.
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