Bruins

Why Bruins should pass on Tarasenko after reported trade request

Bruins

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel isn't the only star player who could be traded during what promises to be a busy NHL offseason.

Vladimir Tarasenko might be moved as well.

The St. Louis Blues right winger has requested a trade after nine seasons with the team, The Athletic's Jeremy Rutherford reported Wednesday night.

Tarasenko has been one of the Blues' best players over the last decade. When healthy, he's one of the league's most talented goal scorers. He posted 30-plus goals in five consecutive seasons from 2014-15 through 2018-19. He also was a key component of Blues' 2019 Stanley Cup title win over the Boston Bruins.

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Speaking of the Bruins, should they try to pursue Tarasenko on the trade market in an effort to improve their scoring depth?

The short answer is no.

Staying healthy has been a challenge for Tarasenko over the last two seasons, and that's the main reason why the Bruins should not trade for the 29-year-old forward.

Three shoulder surgeries have limited Tarasenko's availability to the Blues of late. It's also impacted his on-ice performance. He played in just 10 games last season and 24 this season, tallying seven goals over that span.

Another reason why the Bruins should not target Tarasenko is his contract. He has two years remaining with a $7.5 million salary cap hit, which would be the largest on the Bruins.  

The Bruins would be better served using that kind of salary cap space on re-signing left winger Taylor Hall, who was a really good fit in the B's lineup after the NHL trade deadline. Boston also has to consider re-signing important players such as second-line center David Krejci, top-four defenseman Brandon Carlo and several others who are free agents this offseason.

 

Tarasenko has immense talent and the Bruins need another goal scorer for their top-six, but for the reasons noted above, making a move for him isn't in Boston's best interests. They can't afford to take a chance on a high-priced player with a serious injury history when the team's championship window is almost shut.