Von Hofen: Should the Penguins go after Tarasenko?

The St. Louis Blues are in a world of hurt right now. They are 10 points out of a playoff spot and are the third worst team in the NHL.

Blues writer Jeremy Rutherford tweeted Wednesday that a few GM’s around the league heard that Russian winger Vladimir Tarasenko was available for trade. They could be looking for that kind of large shake up that Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford has been known to be looking for.

Tarasenko, 27, has 20 points in 29 games this season. He is a proven superstar, having three 70 point seasons and four seasons with at least 20 goals. In the last 5 seasons, he is second in goal scoring (behind Alex Ovechkin). He makes $7.5 million dollars against the cap for this season and 4 years after this season.

Obviously a player of this caliber would cost a pretty penny, so what could the Penguins give up?

The Penguins are right up to the salary cap, so the contracts being traded for Tarasenko would have to equal or be more than his cap hit of $7.5 million. A combination of Olli Maatta, Derick Brassard, and Dominik Simon would work financially for the Penguins. Bryan Rust could also be thrown in the mix as well.

Rutherford would probably prefer to trade a higher draft pick than to trade a couple guys already on the roster. Could Tristan Jarry be in play? Or young prospect like Filip Hallander/Calen Addison be added?

Adding Tarasenko to a forward core including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Jake Guentzel, etc. would basically be putting an all star team on the ice.

Say we have Tarasenko without giving up one of our top stars, our first line power play has the potential to be Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Kris Letang, and Tarasenko. I’ll take that on my team any day.

If Rutherford wants to REALLY shake up this team, adding Tarasenko would be perfect for that.


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