With news that a few NHL clubs are looking for scorers and in light of news that some recent injuries have opened up cap space for teams, Vladimir Tarasenko‘s name is, all of a sudden, making the rounds in trade rumors and there are a few teams looking in his direction. Among them, the Calgary Flames, Vegas Golden Knights, New Jersey Devils, and Carolina Hurricanes could be interesting targets.
Each team has a different situation they are facing when it comes to their trade deadline strategy, but all need that one offensive player who can produce goals and Tarasenko has the ability to do that in bunches.
Calgary Flames Looking for a Scorer
While GM Brad Treliving said that it would be ideal to find a player with term and there’s talk that Tarasekno might have rejected a trade to Calgary in the past, time has a tendency to change things. The Flames are a much different squad than they were before and their need for someone they can elevate in their top six is evident. Having lost their two top scorers from last season, they need a player who can come in and put the puck in the net and has the potential to fill in for a struggling Jonathan Huberdeau.
Frank Seravalli noted in a recent podcast interview, “I think the Blues and Flames have had some conversation. I can’t put my finger on whether it’s on Tarasenko or whether it’s on Barbashev.” Among their other rumored targets are James van Riemsdyk and Max Domi. It’s easy to see what kind of player they are looking for.
Golden Knights Need To Replace Mark Stone
With news that Mark Stone is out indefinitely, the Vegas Golden Knights will be trade deadline buyers, especially if Stone is moved to LTIR. That hasn’t been confirmed, but does anyone doubt the idea that Vegas will do whatever it can to free up the money to go shopping for some big names? That’s their modus operandi.
Tarasenko is a player that immediately makes sense. An experienced right-winger who can score, Tarasenko’s $7.5 million salary is not a problem for Vegas now. So, even if the team doesn’t have many assets they can move in terms of draft picks and prospects, they do have the ability to take on Tarasenko’s salary, which not a lot of other teams do and has been an issue in moving Tarasenko in the past. If the Blues wind up not being a playoff team, the pending UFA will likely be dumped for a low asking price, simply because he’s bound to test free agency as a pending UFA that hasn’t always been a fan of the Blues and how they do business.
Devils are Rumored to Be Heavy Buyers
A team with just over $2 million in deadline salary cap space, the Devils are being pegged by insiders as a team that is aggressively shopping for a top-six scorer and they’ve been linked to Timo Meier. The issue with someone like Meier is that he’s among the biggest names being shopped this season and the asking price is going to be enormous. The assets needed to potentially acquire Tarasenko won’t be nearly as costly.
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The Devils are going to make a push. They’ve played well all season and if they could find another winger to add depth to their roster, they’ll be dangerous. Friedman noted on a recent 32 Thoughts podcast that the Devils have talked about Tarasenko in the past. When Calgary showed interest in Tarasenko as part of the Matthew Tkachuk trade, the Devils were an option if Tarasenko refused to go to Calgary.
Carolina Might, All of a Sudden, Have Money
The knock on the Hurricanes is that they’ve always had trouble scoring in the playoffs. That seems to be the one thing that stops them from advancing further, despite being a club that many views as annually dangerous. They’ll definitely want to add scoring, especially with Max Pacioretty down, and potentially for the count.
If Pacioretty is moved to LTIR, or the Hurricanes can convince the Blues to retain half of Tarasenko’s salary in a trade deadline deal, they’ll be a team that checks in on this as an option. Back in August of 2021, Sara Civian of The Athletic noted that Tarasenko’s name was linked to Carolina. This wouldn’t be the first time then that GM Don Waddel has considered this.