The Ottawa Senators will be forced to forfeit a first-round selection due to their role in the Evgenii Dadonov trade saga, the NHL announced on Wednesday.
"Ottawa will forfeit its first-round draft pick in one of the 2024, 2025 or 2026 Drafts," the release said. "The determination as to which pick will be forfeited will be made by Ottawa within 24 hours of the conclusion of the Draft Lottery for that year."
Senators general manager Pierre Dorion resigned from his position hours after news of the punishment broke.
The punishment comes as a result of the Senators' failure to disclose Dadonov's 10-team no-trade clause after completing a deal with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2021 for Nick Holden and a draft pick.
Vegas later attempted to trade Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks at the 2022 trade deadline, however, it was ultimately unable to do so as a result of the clause.
"We appreciate the league’s diligence on this matter and respect the decision. The club will have no further comment," the Golden Knights added in their own statement.
Dadonov initially signed a three-year deal with the Senators in 2020, and after being shipped to Vegas eventually made his way to Montreal via trade in June of 2022. The Russian winger signed with the Dallas Stars this offseason on a two-year, $4.5-million contract.
The punishment marks a rocky start to the tenure of new owner Michael Andlauer, who officially became the Senators owner in September just ahead of the start of the new campaign. It also marks the second time a team has been forced to forfeit a first-round pick in the past three years. Previously, the Arizona Coyotes were forced to forfeit their 2021 first-round pick after they were caught violating the NHL's combine testing policy.
Ottawa has had a less than ideal start to their campaign after yet another offseason filled with anticipation of a step forward for the organization. In addition to the suspension of unsigned forward Shane Pinto for gambling violations, the Senators sit second last in the Atlantic Division standings with a middling 4-4-0 record.