Vladimir Tarasenko’s tenure with the St. Louis Blues could soon draw to a close. On Tuesday, the Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported the club is exploring a trade for the 29-year-old right wing.
Tarasenko tallied 30-plus goals in five straight seasons from 2014-15 to 2018-19. He has two years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $7.5 million plus a full no-trade clause. He was limited to just 34 regular-season games over the last two seasons due to recurring shoulder injuries. Seravalli indicated he’s now healthy and willing to provide the Blues with some trade destinations.
Rumors dogged Tarasenko since the Colorado Avalanche swept the Blues in the opening round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. ESPN.com’s Greg Wyshynski and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Jim Thomas wondered if they’d dare leave the sniper exposed in the expansion draft to free up salary cap space. General manager Doug Armstrong doesn’t appear to be considering that possibility.
During a June 1 mailbag segment, The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford stated his belief Armstrong would gauge Tarasenko’s value in this summer’s trade market. He felt the winger might welcome a trade if the Blues opted for a more hardworking, blue-collar lineup.
Tarasenko was recently linked to the Calgary Flames in a rumor claiming Matthew Tkachuk wanted a trade to his hometown of St. Louis. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that speculation was met by firm denials by the Flames.
Moving Tarasenko could be difficult given his injury history and cap hit. Still, he should draw considerable interest from clubs seeking scoring punch at right wing. Armstrong might have to retain part of his cap hit or take back a comparable salary to facilitate a trade.