Friedman on criticism of Tarasenko, trade thoughts

With the St. Louis Blues seemingly willing to consider almost anything on the trade front, Vladimir Tarasenko continues to be a point of interest.

Elliotte Friedman had a Monday afternoon radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, and was asked about his thoughts on the subject with the coming months perhaps being the optimal time to move the veteran winger.

“If you also take a look at it, he’s going to make 7.5 over the next four years,” noted Friedman. “For a guy who can score like he has, that’s now a really good contract. How many guys who can score like Tarasenko does are going to make more than 7.5 - a lot. So that’s a good number.

“Now, just on Tarasenko - the line Nick used on the weekend was ‘not part of the problem, not part of the solution.’

“I wrote a couple of weeks ago that they were looking at dealing him because they weren’t always happy with him. And I got a call from a guy who used to play for the Blues. And he basically said to me, ‘Look. Tarasenko,’ he basically said that, ‘On the ice, great player. He’s not a leader,’ - which not everybody is, but he said that there were people on that team who use Tarasenko to deflect their own issues. That they blame him when they should be looking in the mirror.

“And this guy said to me, ‘I’m not the biggest Tarasenko fan, but I do think some of the criticism is unfair.’

“So what are you getting? You’re getting a guy who can score, but a guy who is a bit flawed. And a team like Carolina, which I think has waited, they’re dying for goals. I could see it.”

Tarasenko is in the midst of an eight-year, $60 million contract that has another four seasons to run beyond 2018-19.

The deal’s cap hit is $7.5 million, and the no-trade clause - which will run the entire second half of that contract - kicks in July 1.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly