Vladimir Tarasenko is a player who has been rumored to be of interest to the New York Islanders by trade for two years. The Islanders are still looking to add a scorer and Tarasenko has yet to rescind his trade request from the St. Louis Blues, so it makes sense for the Isles to inquire. The Isles need to clear cap space to acquire a top winger and making the move would allow the Islanders to send a big contract to the Blues.
Tarasenko is coming off of his career-best season, where he scored 82 points in 75 games. He has always been a great scorer and even after his best season would still like to be moved. The 30-year-old right-winger would be a perfect fit alongside Mathew Barzal and is the exact type of player the Isles have been searching for.
Does A Trade Work?
In order for the Islanders to acquire a big-name forward this offseason, they would need to clear cap space. Players like Josh Bailey, Semyon Varlamov, and Anthony Beauvillier are some candidates that could be moved to free some cap space via trade. Via CapFriendly, the Islanders currently have just over $11 million in cap room, before free agency opening. The team still needs to sign Noah Dobson, Alexander Romanov, and Barzal is eligible for an extension this summer if Isles GM Lou Lamoriello wants to get that one done early.
There is no telling what the Blues would ask for in a potential trade, but trading Tarasenko for one of those three players would save roughly $2-3 million for the Blues. St. Louis is also in a cap crunch of their own by having only about $9 million in space currently and it's been reported that David Perron will hit free agency on Wednesday.
It is no secret that Tarasenko is a dynamic player. He has one year remaining on his contract with a $7.5 million cap hit. The Blues would probably opt to not trade him, but he still would like to leave. Maybe the Blues would trade Tarasenko for only draft picks and prospects just to free up money? It is all just speculation at this point.
There are rumors the Islanders are interested in possible free-agent Johnny Gaudreau and that trading for Tarasenko is a possible backup plan. If the Islanders are serious about adding a top scorer for their first line, Tarasenko should be heavily looked into as an option.