St. Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko has reportedly requested for a commerce and whereas it isn’t fully stunning that the best winger could be in search of a recent begin after two consecutive injury-laden seasons (he is had a number of shoulder surgical procedures in his profession), his identify does nonetheless carry plenty of heft – gamers who’ve scored 40 objectives in a season nowadays aren’t that straightforward to search out.
For the Blues, this isn’t essentially a commerce they wish to make. Tarasenko was drafted by St. Louis and helped the Blues to their solely Stanley Cup so far in 2019. And when wholesome, he is a potent offensive power. But it surely appears like the connection is on the level the place it is time to transfer on and Blues GM Doug Armstrong should now do what’s finest for his franchise.
So what are the professionals and cons of a Tarasenko commerce?
The professional for St. Louis is that they will get vital wage cap aid in dealing the star. Tarasenko has a $7.5 million cap hit for the subsequent two seasons and in a flat-cap world, that is a giant chunk of house for a participant who has solely been wholesome sufficient to contribute 24 factors whole previously two seasons. It will definitely make it simpler to re-sign pending UFA Jaden Schwartz, whereas giving Armstrong the pliability to see what else is on the open market to enhance what has been a powerful roster the previous few seasons.
The cons for the Blues is that Tarasenko’s state of affairs possible dulls the return St. Louis can count on in a commerce. Not solely is he battling again from a severe damage, however Tarasenko has a no-trade clause, so the Blues can not merely ship him anyplace. Earlier than his shoulder surgical procedures, you undoubtedly would have given up a first-rounder, a prime prospect and a roster participant to get Tarasenko (or do a 1-for-1 swap within the vein of Pierre-Luc Dubois and Patrik Laine; by no means thoughts that commerce did not yield rapid dividends for the Jackets or Jets). Now? I feel you are fortunate to get a few second-rounders or a high-end prospect, however in all probability not each. Additionally, you lose the providers of Tarasenko, a participant we have already established is difficult to interchange.
The professional for a staff buying and selling for Tarasenko are apparent: If his shoulder really received mounted on the third try, you are getting a particularly motivated scorer who solely turns 30 in December and is underneath contract for 2 seasons. If Tarasenko can get you 35 objectives and 70 factors, he is definitely definitely worth the cap hit. And in the event you solely had to surrender a few draft picks, why would not you make that transfer?
The con for buying Tarasenko is that he could possibly be broken items. You hope the shoulder is okay, however you do not actually know for certain till you see how he makes use of his launch on the ice and takes his first bone-jarring hits from rivals who want to do him hurt. Even when he is wholesome sufficient to be within the lineup, will he be efficient sufficient to justify a top-line function on the best wing? And what sort of conditioning are you able to count on from a participant who has been so restricted in his recreation load the previous two seasons? You hope that Tarasenko, who has at all times been extremely sturdy, bounces again simply and is raring to go for an 82-game season. However you will not know for certain till, say, Recreation 56.
So is he definitely worth the danger? I say he is definitely worth the gamble in the event you’re staff making an attempt to get to the subsequent stage, however not essentially a contender in search of that last piece – as a result of there’s an excessive amount of danger concerned with that cap hit, until the Blues retain wage within the deal (which is a chance) in trade for extra commerce property. Simply due to Tarasenko himself, who has at all times been a considerate and hard-working expertise, I hope it really works out for all concerned.