With the St Louis Blues sitting nine points out of the playoffs it seems that teams like the New York Islanders have been told that everyone is available; including Vladimir Tarasenko.
The New York Islanders need a bit more talent up front to round out their top six. They’ve got a few kids in the system they should be able to mold into NHL’ers, but that might take a few years.
If the Islanders want to inject their lineup with some top tier talent they’ll likely have to trade for it. And it seems like the struggling St Louis Blues are ready to sell off everything that isn’t tied down.
And that seems to include three time 70+ point player Vladimir Tarasenko. But if the Islanders are interested they better be ready for a high asking price from Blues GM Doug Armstrong.
Elite Player, Elite Price
According to The Athletics Jeremy Rutherford the St Louis Blues have told teams that everyone is available, even Tarasenko.
Aside from those three 70+ point seasons, Tarasenko has scored 30 goals or more (including a 40 goal season) on four occasions. Lastly, only 14 players have scored more points than Tarasenko.
All of that to say that Vladimir Tarasenko is an elite player. The Islanders would obviously love to have the righty. Oh yeah, he plays on the right wing.
Elite players command an elite price in the trade market.
Ryan O’Reilly who was just traded to the Blues commanded Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka, prospect Tage Thomspson, a second-round pick and a conditional first-round pick.
Over the last five seasons (including this year) O’Reilly ranks 34th in terms of scoring. A full 20 ranks lower than Tarasenko.
O’Reilly, just like Tarasenko had five years at $7.5 million in terms of a cap hit. The trade for O’Reilly is a good precedent for Tarasenko (not to mention it was the Blues who made the trade).
A 70 point player for under $8 million a year is a pretty good. Not to mention that Tarasenko is only 26 years old (turns 27 this December).
So recap. Vladimir Tarasenko gets you top 15 production in the league, from the right side, he’s still in his prime, and is under team control at a relatively good deal for five years.
The Blues are going to ask for a lot. Based on what they gave up for Ryan O’Reilly, their ask could look like:
- first-round pick (the Blues don’t have theirs)
- a blue chip prospect (Bellows/Wahlstrom/Dobson)
- a good young roster player (think Beauvillier)
- a later pick in the draft
Not to mention that a trade to the Islanders probably still involves paying a premium.
That’s a lot. Maybe too much for the Islanders who are counting on their youth to keep them at the top of the Metropolitan Division for years. Getting Tarasenko would significantly deplete that fantastic prospect pipeline.
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The New York Islanders need to perform their due diligence and inquire about Tarasenko. But I suspect that the ask will be so high that Lou Lamoriello won’t think twice about hanging up the phone.