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Blues to Use Salary Cap Loophole Too?: Anyone Say Chris Kreider?

The St. Louis Blues are another team that could take advantage of the LTIR salary loophole if Vladimir Tarasenko is not available before the regular season ends. Who are they targeting?

There’s been a ton of buzz that the Toronto Maple Leafs might use a loophole in the salary cap to add to their roster prior to the Feb 24 trade deadline. Part of the discussion centers around Morgan Rielly’s health and how likely it will be that he returns before the end of the NHL’s regular season.

If Rielly, Cody Ceci and Ilya Mikheyev are not able to return, the Maple Leafs have as much as $9 million in cap space they can spend to improve their defense.

The Maple Leafs aren’t the only team looking at this tactic as a possible way to go.

Related: Duclair’s Struggles With Senators a Sign of Potential Trade?

Blues and Tarasenko’s Injury

The St. Louis Blues lost forward Vladimir Tarasenko early in the season. He’s been on LTIR since and while he’s back skating, he’s still some ways away from being able to actually play a game. The expectation is that he’d be ready close to or just in time for the playoffs. Perhaps the Blues are hoping it’s the latter.

Obviously, the sooner Tarasenko is in the Blues lineup, the better a team they are. That said, they’re already good. In fact, they’re a Stanley Cup contender without him and getting into the postseason isn’t as much a chore for the Blues as it is for others. They can afford not to have Tarasenko until the first round.

If this is the case, it gives the Blues around $5 million before Feb 24 to use with no penalty to the team. Already rumored to be active on the trade mill, the Blues are the leading candidates to land forward Chris Kreider from the New York Rangers. Imagine how potent this offense could be if both Kreider and Tarasenko show up just in time for the playoffs?

Related: [Report] Jets Listening to Offers on Kyle Connor

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