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Florida Panthers land Vladimir Tarasenko from Ottawa Senators for a pair of draft picks

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Philadelphia Flyers

Mar 2, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Ottawa Senators right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) in the tunnel before warmups against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — The NHL-leading Florida Panthers landed forward Vladimir Tarasenko from the Ottawa Senators for a pair of draft picks, adding more wing depth before the playoffs start.

The Panthers sent a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft to Ottawa as part of the deal, and the fourth-rounder would upgrade to a 2026 third-rounder if Florida wins the Stanley Cup this season. Ottawa also is getting a third-round pick from Florida in 2025, while the Senators are retaining half of Tarasenko’s salary.

“Vladimir is a highly skilled and experienced scoring winger who provides our club with another dynamic offensive option as we embark on the remainder of our season,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said. “We are excited for him to join our team, and to compete for the Stanley Cup once again.”

Ottawa now has $7.2 million in cap space.

Tarasenko had a full no-trade clause as part of his $5 million, one-year contract with Ottawa, allowing him to choose his preferred destination. Another pending free agent who signed just for this season, Washington’s Max Pacioretty, is in the same boat.

Tarasenko has 17 goals and 24 assists in 57 games with Ottawa this season. And selling him on Florida likely was easy.

Tarasenko owns a home in South Florida, has a relationship with Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and now joins a team good enough to win a title. He has tons of playoff experience — 97 games in 10 years — and helped St. Louis win the Stanley Cup in 2017.

The trade is the second for a rental winger in as many days after the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights acquired Anthony Mantha from the Capitals, also for two draft picks. Vegas defeated Florida in the final last season.

The Panthers are 43-16-4, the best record in the NHL.