As the free agency period winds down, Vladimir Tarasenko’s future remains uncertain. Seeking a contract close to his desired $5-$6 million per season, the 31-year-old winger may have limited options. The Florida Panthers could be a potential landing spot, but only if Tarasenko is willing to accept a bit of a discount.
After spending his entire career with the St. Louis Blues, Tarasenko was acquired by the New York Rangers in a significant trade just before the deadline. In his brief stint with the Rangers, he displayed his scoring prowess, netting 10 goals and tallying 29 points in 38 games. This performance could spark interest from the Panthers, as reported by George Richards from Florida Hockey Now.
While Florida has been active during the free agency period, they might not be done making roster changes just yet, suggests Richards. The addition of Tarasenko, should he agree to a short-term contract around $4 million, could further strengthen their lineup. Despite his age, when healthy, Tarasenko remains one of the league’s top scorers, making him an attractive prospect for the Panthers.
Richards acknowledges that landing Tarasenko would be a long shot, but if the pieces fall into place, the winger could find success with the Panthers. Such success could then set the stage for a potentially lucrative deal, either with the Panthers or elsewhere, in 2024.
Tarasenko Hasn’t Gotten the Offer He Wants
Tarasenko’s offseason has been marked by disappointment, as he was unable to secure a long-term contract during the initial free agency frenzy. This led to a change in his representation in hopes of exploring other opportunities. It’s hard to know if he’s still firm on his ask, or if the market has given an indication that he’ll need to take a different approach.
The Panthers do have some financial flexibility, thanks to nearly $10 million in long-term injured reserve (LTIR) relief from players like Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour. However, careful salary cap management will be crucial to maintaining compliance once these defenders return to action in the upcoming season.
As the offseason progresses, the Panthers will keep a close eye on Tarasenko’s situation, ready to seize an opportunity if the stars align and the winger becomes amenable to a short-term deal with the team.
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