It appears the Vladimir Tarasenko era in St. Louis is coming to an end as it’s been reported that the former All-Star has requested a trade away from the team. Tarasenko has reportedly lost trust with the organization as he feels the club’s staff mishandled his first two shoulder surgeries, causing him to need a third operation and to go outside the organization for it. It has also been reported that Tarasenko felt slighted by the club when Ryan O’Reilly was named captain instead of him.
— theScore (@theScore) July 8, 2021
Will Tarasenko be traded?
The 29-year-old winger has two years left on his contract at a cap hit of $7.5 million. Tarasenko’s contract does include a no-trade clause, which means he will get the final say on where he plays hockey in 2021-22. At this stage in his career, it is assumed he will want to play with a contender as he looks to add another Stanley Cup to his resume. Teams that fit that description often don’t have that amount of cap space available, though teams such as the New York Islanders and New York Rangers have been linked to a move for Tarasenko.
When a situation between a player and an organization reaches this point, it is almost certain that a parting of ways is inevitable. Blues President and GM Doug Armstrong will look to maximize value in the trade market and if all else fails, leaving Tarasenko unprotected in the Expansion Draft to be selected by Seattle is not completely off the table.
What does this mean for the Blues moving forward?
If the Blues do indeed trade Vladimir Tarasenko, that opens up an additional $7.5 million in cap space. With forwards Jaden Schwartz, Tyler Bozak, and Mike Hoffman becoming unrestricted free agents, that could be up to $22 million in cap space. Blues owner Tom Stillman recently reaffirmed his commitment to winning and spending to the cap, so a Tarasenko trade could very well be the first move in a series of moves by Doug Armstrong this summer as they re-tool their roster for another Stanley Cup run.
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