After over seven seasons as general manager, the Ottawa Senators have parted company with Pierre Dorion. Dorion has been with the Senators since 2007, first as a scout before working up to the GM role in 2017.
New owner Michael Andlauer made the announcement Wednesday at the Canadian Tire Centre, assigning his president of hockey operations, Steve Staios, as the new interim GM. Staios will now begin the search for Dorion’s permanent replacement. Former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and Tampa Director of Hockey Operations Mathieu Darche are both seen as possible candidates.
The move came after Andlauer received word the Senators would be penalized by the NHL for messing up the Evgenii Dadonov trade with Vegas two years ago. The Senators led the Golden Knights to believe that Dadonov had no trade protection. So, when they tried to deal Dadonov to Anaheim last year, both teams were embarrassed and livid that Dadonov actually did have a ten-team, no trade list, and the Ducks were on it. So, the league vetoed the trade.
The Senators’ penalty for their role in the Dadonov disaster is the loss of a future first-round draft pick.
“Today’s NHL ruling stems from actions originated by our hockey club that were, unfortunately, negligent in nature,” Andlauer told the media. “Our duty of care was ignored, which set off events that embarrassed the league and pissed off two other NHL clubs.”
If Andlauer sounds annoyed, it’s because he is. Both the Dadonov and Pinto infractions happened on someone else’s watch. As he closed his billion-dollar deal to buy the franchise, he wasn’t made aware of the investigations into each case.
Andlauer insisted Wednesday’s decision was a mutual one, agreed upon during his dinner with Dorion on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Staios gave a total vote of confidence to his hockey staff, including head coach D.J. Smith, who’s now in his fifth season and still trying to steer his team into a playoff berth.