From the exchange of the year in the NHL, Tarasenko lost. While everything remains the same for the Russian
Florida won the fight for Matthew Tkachuk, which means that St. Louis never found a replacement for Tarasenko. But not the fact that Vladimir wants to leave.
After Calgary was unable to agree with the main star of the team of previous years, Johnny Gaudreau, to extend the contract and he drove off to Columbus, Matthew Tkachuk, the second-ranking player of the lights, immediately expressed his dissatisfaction with this situation. Rumor has it that he even made a request for an exchange to the club’s management, so the Flames simply had to part with their second star. However, in this situation, Calgary was going to get the most out of the departure of a player who knocked out 104 points in 82 games in the past regular season.
With the first proposal came the current team of Vladimir Tarasenko (as well as Pavel Buchnevich and Ivan Barbashev) “St. Louis Blues”. According to Canadian insiders, the “musicians” offered Tkachuk 24-year-old forward Jordan Kaira (75 points in 74 games), 31-year-old defender Tori Krug (43 points in 64 games) and a first-round draft pick. But, to the surprise of many fans and experts, Calgary refused such an offer and decided to wait for a more profitable one. Then many began to say that Tkachuk would still remain in the “lights”, since they simply ask too much for the player.
However, then Florida and its general manager Bill Zito came to the fore with a simply crazy offer – Jonathan Huberdeau (29 years old, 115 points in 80 games), Mackenzie Wigar (28 years old, 44 points in 80 games), 21-year-old rookie Cole Schwindt , who has only three NHL games behind him and a 1st round pick. As it might seem at first – a crazy overpayment, since the same Huberdo now looks like a stronger player than Tkachuk, however, due to the age difference, which is five years for the attackers, their value is balanced.
The most powerful trade in the NHL! Who would benefit from a deal that no one could even imagine?
However, everything is much more complicated here – Wigar and Huberdo’s contracts end in a year, and the Panthers simply do not have money to renew both players under the ceiling. And in the person of Tkachuk, Florida received an excellent finisher in the link with Alexander Barkov and a player who will now defend the colors of the club from the Atlantic coast for another eight years. So far, Calgary still looks like the winning side, but if Huberdeau and / or Wigar refuse to sign new contracts with the team after the 2022/2023 season, then the Flames will sharply become the losing side.
Who exactly lost from this historic exchange is the Russian striker of St. Louis Vladimir Tarasenko. For several seasons in the NHL, there have been rumors that the Russian is not averse to a change of scenery and moving to another team. The potential arrival of the “musicians” Tkachuk would mean that Vladimir would have a direct competitor in position, and this would make his position in negotiations with the club on a possible exchange winning, and the Blues would not hold Tarasenko with all their might. But history does not tolerate the subjunctive mood, and therefore let’s consider the situation from the point of view of what happened in the end.
The Russians from St. Louis disappeared at the most important moment of the season. What will happen to them next?
Last season, the forward scored 82 points in 75 regular season games (the top scorer of the “musicians”) and nine points in 12 playoff games. Against the background of 10 points in 10 (yes, only 10!) matches of the 2019/2020 regular season and 14 points in 24 meetings of the 2020/2021 season, this looks like a real breakthrough. Tarasenko finally managed to finally recover from a shoulder injury that had tormented him for more than two years, because of which he played in only 34 matches in two seasons, and gave out the best season in his career (before that, Tarasenko had never overcome the bar in a point per game) .
In this scenario, the exchange of the Russian does not look like an obviously profitable option for his team, however, the management of St. Louis can’t get the striker’s injury out of his head, as well as his age, because Vladimir will turn 31 in December 2022. There are no guarantees that the striker will continue to demonstrate hockey of an outrageous level. In addition, if the Russian again receives a recurrence of his injury, then it will be very problematic to exchange him. Therefore, right here and now, the leadership of the Blues must decide – either take risks and leave the forward who has found himself and shows a great game, but already an age and a little crystal forward, or look for options for an exchange while Tarasenko is in shape and you can get a decent for him compensation. The general manager of the “musicians” Doug Armstrong still has time to think, but the fate of Vladimir will not depend on him alone.
After all, Tarasenko himself can both firmly insist on leaving and send a management request for an exchange, or, conversely, decide to remain in the team in which he spent his entire career in the NHL. There are factors that speak for leaving, but there are not so many of them – we can say that St. Louis, which failed to save David Perron and gave a cool backup to Ville Husso, cannot really qualify for the Stanley Cup, and the Russian is unlikely wants to stop at one cup. It is also quite possible that Vladimir simply wants to challenge himself after 10 years of playing for the same team.
Photo: Getty Images
However, these arguments now have a powerful counterweight in the person of Pavel Buchnevich, who joined the team before the 2021/2022 season, and Ivan Barbashev, who made his way into the starting lineup just a few years ago. Their trio this season was dubbed the “Russian blues”, and the Russian hockey players really found an excellent mutual understanding on the ice. It is possible that outside of it. In addition, St. Louis has already become Tarasenko’s hometown, and head coach Craig Berube knows Vladimir’s strengths and weaknesses perfectly in order to optimally use the striker on the court.
In any case, the Russian, like the management of the “musicians”, has enough time to think and make a final decision, however, the most obvious option for changing the vector of Tarasenko’s career passed by, so the likelihood that the striker will remain in St. Louis is increased greatly. In any case, wherever Vladimir starts the upcoming season, we have the right to expect the same strong and inspiring game from him, since right now, it seems, we see prime Tarasenko and we really don’t want injuries to prevent the Russian from enjoying the best years of his career. So we stock up on patience and wish good luck to the attacker, wherever he is.