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Should the Bruins Pursue A Trade For Vladimir Tarasenko?

Earlier this week, it was reported that St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko has requested a trade. Ever since then, rumors have been flying, and many fans are clamoring for their teams to acquire him. Since I’ve been seeing a lot of Bruins fans saying they want him or asking if they should, I decided to give my two cents on it. But first, to better understand why I feel the way I do, let’s talk about why he even wants to leave the Blues in the first place. 

Why Does Vladimir Tarasenko Want Out?

As good as Vladimir Tarasenko was at one point, he comes with a massive question mark now. The main reason he wants out of St. Louis is their handling of his shoulder injuries. He has undergone three major surgeries to fix the same issue and missed long stretches of time as a result, including almost the entire 2019-20 season. But, he never should’ve had to undergo three. The first two were performed by Blues’ physicians, and they did not fully fix the problem, nor did they know that was the case. It wasn’t until Tarasenko sought an outside source that it was discovered the ligament damage from the initial injury had never been fully repaired, and that’s why he kept having issues. So, he is understandably upset by that and doesn’t trust the organization anymore. Therefore, he wants out.

Buyer Beware

The reason why I am so weary of a Tarasenko trade is because of his shoulder. He is not the player he was once. Could he potentially bounce back? Yes. But, that is quite the gamble to make. For starters, shoulder injuries are notoriously difficult to come back from, particularly if left untreated for a while, which Tarasenko’s essentially was. But that’s not the only problem. He has two years left on a contract that pays him $7.5 million a year. That makes this a very high-risk deal, and the potential reward just doesn’t outweigh it. Any potential buyer needs to beware, and value Tarasenko for what he is now and not what he once was.

There is Only One Way I’d Be Ok With This Trade

As much as I think a trade for Tarasenko would be a bad idea for the Bruins, there is a scenario in which I’d be ok with it. If they were able to acquire him in a Taylor Hall-esque deal (i.e. give up little and have the Blues retain a lot of salary), then he’d maybe be worth a shot because it wouldn’t be too high-risk. But, that’s not going to happen. The Blues will never get full value for Tarasenko since every team now knows that he wants out and he has a no-move clause. However, they’ll be able to get more for him than the Bruins would give up in a Hall-style trade, and probably be able to do so without retaining salary. Someone will inevitably overvalue him based on past play and Cup experience and give up more than they should, although probably still not quite what the Blues want. 

Steer Clear of Vladimir Tarasenko

In short, the Bruins should steer clear of Vladimir Tarasenko unless something miraculous happens. I know he’s intriguing to many because of how good he used to be. But, he is not that player anymore and the odds of him reaching that level again are slim. Combine that with his massive salary, and you have a really bad trade waiting to happen. Plus, who’s to say Tarasenko even wants to come to Boston? He has a NMC and therefore full control over where he goes.

That aside, if the Bruins are somehow able to give up very little and have the Blues retain a bunch of salary (I’m talking half here), then ok, maybe consider it. But since that’ll never happen, they should absolutely stay away. He won’t be what fans of any team are expecting him to be, let alone a fanbase that lives in the past as Bruins fans do.

-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)

Featured image courtesy of Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.

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