Sansided
Editorials

New York Islanders: Trade Proposal For Vladimir Tarasenko

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 21: Vladimir Tarasenko #91 of the St. Louis Blues in game four of the Western Conference Finals against the San Jose Sharks during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 21, 2016 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 21: Vladimir Tarasenko #91 of the St. Louis Blues in game four of the Western Conference Finals against the San Jose Sharks during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 21, 2016 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit

If the St. Louis Blues are indeed trying to move Vladimir Tarasenko the New York Islanders should be 100 percent in. Here’s a fair trade that could get it done.

As the NHL season is rapidly approaching the halfway point, which is shocking in its own right, teams are starting to become self-aware of their playoff chances. Surprisingly, the New York Islanders are very much in the mix.

They’re just two points behind the Penguins for third in the Metro and they also trail by just four points in the Wild Card race. The Isles have the ability to make a second-half run, especially if they improved their roster.

Losing John Tavares this offseason was a huge blow, and they never really attempted to replace him. They can do that, or at the very least help their cause, by looking into acquiring Vladimir Tarasenko.

According to Blues Insider Jeremy Rutherford, everyone is available including star winger Vladimir Tarasenko. With St. Louis far out of a playoff spot maybe they decide to pull the plug and try to regroup for the future.

Tarasenko, 27, is an elite level winger in the prime of his career. He’s scored over 30 goals each of the last four years and has eclipsed the 70 point mark three times in his career. At $7.5 million against the cap for this year and the next four years, he doesn’t only help the team this year but also down the line as well.

A trade would be eerily similar to the Ryan O’Reilly trade ironically enough. That deal sent O’Reilly to the Blues while Buffalo receied Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund, Tage Thompson, a 2019 first round pick and a 2021 second round pick.

Both Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund were essentially cap dumps. They’re both depth centers making over $3 million a year. Tage Thompson was St. Louis’ first rounder from 2016, and of course, the picks are the picks.

O’Reilly and Tarasenko are the same age and they also have the same contract (four years remaining with $7.5 million against the cap). So using the O’Reilly trade as a benchmark, here’s what a potential Tarasenko deal could look like:

The key things that remain the same from the two trades are the draft picks. St. Louis is getting back a first and a second, just like they gave up for Ryan O’Reilly. The Blues get back into the first round, which they desperately need if they’re going to sell off a piece or two.

This go around the Isles aren’t giving up a cap dump though. The reason being is St. Louis doesn’t have space for it and Tarasenko is frankly a better player than O’Reilly so the package would need to be a slight upgrade regardless.

Giving up Anthony Beauvillier and his potential would certainly hurt to see but Tarasenko is someone who immediately makes the Islanders top line (Lee – Barzal – Tarasenko) a top-10 top unit in the game.

Then, of course, you have Kieffer Bellows who is one of the Islanders better prospects. He’s also pretty close to being NHL ready which is enticing to St. Louis. I like Bellows a ton as a prospect but to get four and a half years of Tarasenko you’re going to have to give up a lot. Plus, the Isles still have depth in the system.

Not only does Tarasenko help at 5-on-5, but he’s also a power play machine. He had five power-play goals already this year and has had as many as 12 in a season. The Islanders power play is an utter joke at the moment, so to bring in someone who has such an impact on the man advantage would be a huge plus.

Lines

Lee – Barzal – Tarasenko

Bailey – Nelson – Eberle

Komarov – Filppula – Ho-Sang

Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck

That’s instantly an upgrade with what you’re currently working with and puts you in a position to go compete for a playoff spot. In addition, this trade doesn’t have negative long-term effects on the cap.

You can either trade or let Jordan Eberle walk at the end of the year so that frees up $6 million right there, only a $1.5 million difference between the two, and also you could still afford to sign a second line center if you choose to.

Lee – Barzal – Tarasenko

Bailey – Duchene – Wahlstrom

Ladd – Koivula – Ho-Sang

Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck

Assuming you get Duchene for $8 million, re-sign Anders Lee for $7 million, re-sign Lehner for $4 million, and give RFA Josh Ho-Sang a $2 million cap hit you’re looking at a $76.3 million cap hit. If the cap goes up to $83 million like it’s expected to that leaves the Isles with $6.7 million in cap space.

Next. 5 questions for Islanders players

Sure, maybe you have to look to dump off a Leo Komarov or Cal Clutterbuck in the future but you can cross that bridge when you come to it. Adding a guy like Tarasenko now helps you this year and down the line when you’re ready to content which can be as early as next year if planned correctly.

facebooktwitterreddit