Vladimir Tarasenko will not have to wait long for his next team, and per reports, the LA Kings have shown interest in the disgruntled forward.
The Daily Faceoff‘s Frank Seravalli was busy on Wednesday, leaking all of the selections in the Seattle Expansion Draft, despite ESPN planning to open their broadcast rights with the selection show. The big news locally was Kurtis MacDermid being the pick from the LA Kings.
And while he was exposed to Seattle, Vladimir Tarasenko was ultimately not selected.
Sources say #SeaKraken also passed on another high-profile, big money player: Vladimir Tarasenko.
Subject to change but sounds like the selection from #stlblues will be Vince Dunn.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 21, 2021
The 29-year-old star forward officially requested a trade from the St. Louis Blues a couple of weeks ago, citing frustration and a lack of trust with the organization after two botched shoulder surgeries. After a third surgery to finally repair the issue, Tarasenko will, by all accounts, be 100 percent ready to go for the 2021-22 season.
And according to Seravalli, the Kings are among the teams that have not only shown interest in the Russian forward but are also willing to take on all his remaining salary.
“There were a number of teams that were interested in [Vladimir] Tarasenko before he was left exposed,” Seravalli told TSN 1260 on Wednesday. “To my knowledge, there were four teams that were willing to pay full price in terms of his cap hit to get him. LA was one, Carolina was another, Florida was in the mix…there were a number that were willing to take that whole cap hit.”
The Yaroslavl, Russia native, has two years left on his deal, coming at a $7.5M cap hit in each season. It’s worth noting that Tarasenko’s actual pay next year is $9.5M but drops to $5.5M in the final year of his contract.
Tarasenko has played in just 34 games over the last two seasons. He made his 2021 season debut against the LA Kings back on March 6, accumulating four goals and 14 assists in 24 games.
With the NHL’s trade freeze lifting at 10 AM (PT) on Thursday, it will be interesting to monitor how quickly Tarasenko is moved. The cost to acquire the winger at this point doesn’t seem to be overwhelming, as the St. Louis Blues likely have little leverage after exposing him for free to the Kraken.