The NHL had its first major management shakeup of the season on Wednesday when Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion stepped down.
Dorion was under pressure to produce this season because of a lengthy playoff drought and new ownership under Michael Andlauer. But his resignation followed the announcement that the Senators will have to forfeit a first-round pick over the team’s role in a botched trade.
The Senators also got bad news earlier this season when unsigned forward Shane Pinto was suspended for 41 games for violating the league’s gambling rules.
Steve Staios, hired this season as president of hockey operations, will be interim GM while he searches for a replacement for Dorion.
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The Senators, when they dealt forward Evgenii Dadonov to the Vegas Golden Knights in 2021, reportedly failed to inform his new team about the player’s no-trade list. The Golden Knights later tried to trade Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks, who were on the no-trade list, and the deal was invalidated.
‘Our duty of care was ignored, which set off events that embarrassed the league and pissed off two other NHL clubs,’ Andlauer said during Wednesday’s news conference.
The Senators will have to forfeit the first-rounder in 2024, 2025 or 2026, announcing their decision after the draft lottery.
Pierre Dorion’s history as Senators general manager
Dorion was promoted to general manager in 2016 and the Senators went to the conference finals in his first season in charge. But they haven’t been back to the playoffs since.
Dorion did well with first-round picks Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle and Jake Sanderson. He also was aggressive in recent seasons, adding Claude Giroux, Alex DeBrincat, Jacob Chychrun, Vladimir Tarasenko and others.
But he had to deal DeBrincat after one season because the forward wasn’t going to re-sign. Dorion’s deal for goalie Cam Talbot before last season looked bad because traded Filip Gustavsson had a strong season in Minnesota while Talbot was hurt in Ottawa and left in free agency.
Ottawa is off to a 4-4 start this season.