The NY Islanders and Vladamir Tarasenko have had their names mentioned alongside each other for a few years now as a piece that can help solve the Isles' scoring woes. Now 31 years old and a free agent, Tarasenko could be a potential fit on the Isles first line. There would be some salary cap maneuvering necessary by Lou Lamoriello to make it work, but the Russian sniper is still a viable option.
Last night Elloiotte Friedman appeared on NHL Tonight to discuss the Isles' persistent pursuit of a scoring winger:
"A lot of Islanders fans have been sending me notes about Tarasenko," said Friedman. "You know, Lou Lamoriello - god love him - he's not going to tell me anything. The one thing I heard, and again this is one of those things that could blow up in your face, but one thing I heard was it was not a match."
Friedman continues by discussing Tarasenko's recent change of agents, as the former 40-goal scorer is waiting for a few things to happen before deciding where he'll play next season.
"But I heard Tarasenko and the Islanders were possibly a bad match and not going to happen," Friedman says. " But I do think they are looking for another scorer. Yes, absolutely."
Fitting Tarasenko under the cap would require the Islanders to shed significant salary, likely moving JG Pageau for prospects and/or draft compensation. Depending on the monetary compensation Tarasenko would receive, as he's assumably looking for a one-year deal, an additional move or two would be required with Oliver Wahlstrom the next likely candidate to be dealt.
Bringing in a free agent may require too much roster movement, leading to holes at other positions. While the Isles still search for that bonafide scoring winger, Tarasenko doesn't seem like a fit, according to one of the industry's best.