The New York Rangers made their big deadline trade on Thursday, acquiring Vladimir Tarasenko for a number of assets including Sammy Blais and a first-round pick. It was a deal that caught a few people by surprise, not only because of the timing but because it essentially takes the Rangers out of the running for a player like Patrick Kane. The Rangers were rumored to be a team that Kane might consider pursuing if he was willing to waive his no-trade clause, but New York wasn’t willing to wait.
As per Emily Kaplan of ESPN, “It doesn’t sound like the Rangers got to asking price point of discussions with Blackhawks – because the ball is still in Patrick Kane’s court coming to Chicago with what he wants to do.” She adds, “But the NYR didn’t want to wait on him, and also had concerns about his hip.” But, it wasn’t just the fact that Rangers’ GM Chris Drury didn’t want to wait, it was that he liked his other options.
Kaplan followed up by saying, “According to sources, the Rangers targeted Tarasenko – a player they long coveted – and decided to go for it after feeling the asking prices for Timo Meier and Patrick Kane were too high.” They wanted the player and the Blues wanted to move the winger for the best possible return and not risk injury between now and a later trade date.
You know that the Rangers fancied Tarasenko. They paid full price to get him. Pierre LeBrun writes, “…when you factor in that Tarasenko had a full no-trade clause, which limited options for the Blues, Armstrong did well in getting a first-rounder. “Consider, for example, that Taylor Hall netted a second-round pick two years ago for the Sabres in a similar situation, with Hall having leverage of the full no-trade and pointing to Boston as his choice of destination.”
The Blues Didn’t Want to Wait Either
It wasn’t just injury concern that had the Blues eager to pull the trigger on this trade. They knew things could get a bit more complicated if they waited.
The other smart thing the Blues did here is getting a Tarasenko trade done as soon as possible. The added complication of having the player sign off on his no-trade is not something you want to stickhandle around March 3. So many things can go wrong that day. There have been potential trades undone by that very thing at past deadlines.
Tarasenko going to the Rangers may change things slightly for Kane. He may not choose to leave Chicago, but if he does, the Rangers are no longer an option. And, the Blackhawks now understand what the return might be.
Next: NHL Trade Talk Podcast: Ep. 22 – Tarasenko Traded to Rangers
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