Complete radio silence usually means that Lou Lamoriello has something cooking for the New York Islanders. What that might be is anyone’s guess after the Islanders didn’t announce any signings on day 1 of free agency. Could that mean something is brewing on the Vladimir Tarasenko front?
Right now it seems the St. Louis Blues are between a rock and a hard place with Vladimir Tarasenko. The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford reported on Thursday that a league source said St. Lous had miscalculated the situation and were asking “too much” for the 29-year-old forward.
St. Louis hasn’t reportedly done themselves any favors either by negatively talking about Tarasenko.
“They (expletive) on this guy … to their own detriment. It’s time to move him. The train has left the station,” the source told The Athletic.
It has become quite mystifying that Tarasenko has not been dealt to another team at this point and Rutherford points out that the number of teams interested or that could fit him under their salary cap is dwindling. Teams have asked for salary to be retained by St. Louis, according to a report from The Fourth Period.
Vladimir Tarasenko could be the Islanders’ best option to fill the hole left by Jordan Eberle, who was selected by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft. When healthy Tarasenko is one of the NHL’s premier players and he has scored 30-plus goals in five of his nine NHL seasons.
However, injuries have severely limited his productivity and he only played in 34 games over the last two years. In that span, he had just seven goals and 24 points while having to undergo three separate surgeries on his shoulder.
At a $7.5 million cap hit, that’s a lot of risk to take on a player that may or may not be fully healthy next season. The Islanders would certainly need St. Louis to retain some salary and they would likely need to clear another contract off the books.
New York was one of only two teams not to announcing a signing on the first day of free agency. The other team? St. Louis. Whether or not there might be something there only time will tell, but it’s become clear the long St. Louis waits the worse the situation becomes for them.