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Senators sign Evgenii Dadonov to 3-year, $15 million contract

Senators Evgenii Dadonov

SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 7: Evgeni Dadonov #63 of the Florida Panthers skates with the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the BB&T Center on December 7, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

We knew the Ottawa Senators were going to have to spend a lot of money this offseason to reach the NHL’s salary floor, and they continued that on Thursday by announcing the free agent signing of veteran forward Evgenii Dadonov.

It is a three-year, $15 million contract that will carry a salary cap hit of $5 million per season.

The contract also reportedly includes a 10-team no-trade clause.

He joins new goalie Matt Murray, defenseman Erik Gudbranson, and forward Austin Watson as new members of the team.

Together, that quartet has added more than $17 million in cap space to the Senators’ payroll, nearly bringing them to the salary floor. According to CapFriendly the Senators are still about $137,000 below the floor. That is also with three restricted free agents that remain unsigned.

“We’re thrilled to have come to an agreement with Evgenii,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a team statement. “He’s an elite offensive talent and a very consistent scorer as demonstrated by his point totals over the last three seasons. This is a key signing for us as it adds a player who will help us produce offensively and one with a proven track record on the power-play.”

[ProHockeyTalk’s 2020 NHL Free Agency Tracker]

This is a pretty solid deal for the Senators, and it is actually kind of surprising that a contender in need of scoring depth (Boston?!) could not have topped it. Dadonov instantly becomes one of their best forwards, while the contract seems to be a relatively safe investment. It is not going to crush their long-term cap outlook, while he should remain productive for the next few years.

Since returning to the NHL prior to the 2017-18 season (he spent five years in the KHL), Dadonov has became a very solid top-line performer. He has scored at least 25 goals in each of the past three seasons and posted strong possession numbers.

With Dadonov signed the top remaining free agent forwards include Mike Hoffman, Anthony Duclair, Carl Soderberg, Mikael Granlund, and Andreas Athanasiou.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.