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Is a Vladimir Tarasenko Trade Possible This Season?

Tarasenko's future with the St. Louis Blues was a hot topic for off-season speculation following his trade request earlier in the summer. While a deal failed to materialize, the possibility remains the 29-year-old winger could be moved at some point this season.
Vladimir Tarasenko

Vladimir Tarasenko's future with the St. Louis Blues was a hot topic for off-season speculation following his trade request earlier in the summer. While a deal failed to materialize, the possibility remains the 29-year-old winger could be moved at some point this season.

While both sides appear to have put their differences aside, Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli reported Tarasenko “still strongly desires a trade.” He recommended keeping an eye on the winger's early-season performance.

Tarasenko was limited to just 34 games over the past two seasons by three shoulder surgeries. His unhappiness with team doctors who performed the first two procedures and the club's medical staff over subsequent treatment during his recoveries prompted his trade request.

GM Doug Armstrong pointed out last month the difficulty in moving a player who'd missed as much playing time as Tarasenko in a market with a flattened salary cap. His $7.5-million annual average value through 2022-23 was another sticking point, especially when he's receiving $9.5 million in actual salary this season.

Nevertheless, Seravalli believes a trade could materialize if Tarasenko gets off to a hot start and regains his 30-goal form. Finding a suitable destination, however, won't be easy.

Cap Friendly indicates only five teams – Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators – possess sufficient cap space to comfortably absorb Tarasenkos' full cap hit. However, he could be unwilling to waive his no-trade clause to join those rebuilding clubs.

The Arizona Coyotes, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks have between $8 million and $9 million of cap room. Given their various stages of rebuild and retooling, they could be lukewarm toward pursuing a big-ticket veteran. 

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