According to an NHL source familiar with the deal points, Michael Andlauer and his attorneys negotiated a high six-figure indemnification clause during his takeover of the Ottawa Senators earlier this year, to mitigate potential punishment related to the team’s 2021 trade involving Evgenii Dadonov.
The trade sparked widespread intrigue last week when the NHL imposed a first-round draft pick penalty on the Senators for not disclosing the specifics of Dadonov’s contract. Following the punishment, Andlauer criticized the NHL and the sellers, expressing in a press conference that he felt misled about the severity of any potential discipline.
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During the due diligence process, Andlauer mentioned that he was aware of the situation and that it was downplayed by the sellers. However, he believes the actual punishment to be more significant. Andlauer acquired the Senators earlier this year for approximately $950 million, with the purchase agreement containing a section related to the NHL’s Dadonov incident investigation and the specific indemnification clause.
It is unclear if Andlauer plans to file a claim under the indemnification clause, and representatives for the Golden Knights, the NHL, and other relevant parties declined to comment on the matter.
The NHL penalized the Senators due to a trade between Ottawa and Las Vegas in July 2021, involving the non-disclosure of Dadonov’s contract terms. This led to downstream issues for both the Anaheim Ducks and Knights when the trade was voided. The NHL conducted extensive hearings to gather information about the mishap and its impact on the teams involved and imposed the first-round pick forfeiture on the Senators.
Andlauer expressed frustration, admitting negligence on the team’s part but questioning the delay in the NHL’s decision and the lack of verbal representation of the risk during the sale process. The Senators have been facing difficulties on and off the ice, with ongoing losses and off-ice issues.
Despite the challenges, Andlauer remains committed to the team, which saw significant interest in its sale process, and continues to be a vital player in the league.
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