The rockets’ RED glare could add another accomplished Stanley Cup-winning Russian star to the mix as news broke in St. Louis that the Washington Capitals are one of the teams calling on right-winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who hit the NHL trade market via request two weeks ago.
Tarasenko, 29, missed most of last season and much of the past two seasons after multiple shoulder surgeries. His relationship soured with the St. Louis Blues during the process, and both sides were eager to grant Tarasenko’s recent trade request.
On Tuesday, St. Louis reporter Jim Thomas reported the Capitals and some of their closest rivals are thought to have interest in Tarasenko. Also kicking tires and making calls are the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins.
*Here is the full story and report, including tidbits on the Mathew Tkachuk rumor and more rumblings*
Our colleague Joe Haggerty at Boston Hockey Now already took a swing at it from the Boston perspective.
And Sammi Silber examined a potential Russian swap with Evgeny Kuznetsov heading toward the arches and Tarasenko coming to the Capitals.
Last season, Tarasenko scored 14 points (4-10-14) in 24 games. He had 10 points (3-7-10) in just 10 games the prior season.
His rebuilt shoulder is a question mark. His eagerness to leave St. Louis, and the Blues’ willingness to make it happen, will further depress his value on the NHL trade market.
The Capitals are currently full-up on the right side. They acquired Anthony Mantha in a blockbuster deal involving Jakub Vrana, and also have Tom Wilson, T.J. Oshie and Garnet Hathaway.
But appearances can be deceiving at this time of year.
The Vladimir Tarasenko trade cost will pale in comparison to his salary cost. Tarasenko will cost his new team $7.5 million against the salary cap unless someone gets St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong to kick in some salary hold back.
However, his actual paycheck will be $9.5 million next season, which is the seventh of his eight-year, $60 million deal.
The Boston Bruins have the Taylor Hall situation yet to be resolved. Hall is a pending UFA but wanted to play for the Bruins. He remains unsigned. New York has a new GM, Chris Drury. They have a new coach, Gerard Gallant, and Artemi Panarin.
Tarasenko played for Team Russia (ROC) in the recent World Championships. He notched two assists in three games. However, the team managed by the Russian Federation lost in the quarterfinals to Team Canada.