Nashville Predators: Why They Should Avoid Vladimir Tarasenko Trade

St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) looks on against the Minnesota Wild in the first period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) looks on against the Minnesota Wild in the first period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports /

There’s already been one major trade for the Nashville Predators this offseason by dealing Viktor Arvidsson to the LA Kings. Now there’s much bigger fish coming into the trade circles, and the major one is in St. Louis.

St. Louis Blues star forward Vladimir Tarasenko has reportedly requested a trade out of town, citing mishandling of shoulder surgeries as the primary reason why, per a report from ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski.

Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic was also one of the first to break this massive trade news:

This story might possibly be the main story of the offseason until Tarasenko lands on a new team. It’s been a rough couple of months for Blues fans dealing with a first-round sweep, and now a superstar player wants a new team.

Drama in St. Louis

It has been known for over a week that Tarasenko was willing to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a deal, but he has now taken it a step further and asked for a change of scenery, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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Tarasenko, who has only played in 34 regular season games and eight playoff games in the past two seasons, is 29-years-old and has two years left on his contract at $7.5M per year.  When he is at his best, he is someone who most organizations would kill to have on their roster.

Tarasenko is a superstar. He’s a former 40-goal scorer and has been able to record 30-goal seasons like nobody’s business. And with his shot and added playmaking abilities, he has turned into one of the better offensive players in the game of hockey.

The problem now is, will Tarasenko ever return to his once great form?  We know the talent is there, and a change of scenery could jumpstart him, but will he ever fully recover from his recent shoulder injuries?

The good news for opposing teams is that they will not have to pay a steep price to trade for Tarasenko.  With his absence from the ice for the better part of the past two seasons, and now him outright asking to be dealt, the Blues will not get more than a first-round pick and a prospect in return.  If even that.

The big question I want to answer here is would he be a realistic fit for the Nashville Predators?  They are looking to make changes to their roster this offseason and need offensive firepower, so could they look to their Central division rival to make a splash?

Do not get your hopes up, Nashville Predators fans

In Tarasenko, the Nashville Predators would have something that they have never had in their franchise history: someone who has scored 40 goals in a single season.  They need someone like that if they want to seriously contend for a Stanley Cup in the near future, so you could argue that General Manager David Poile needs to take a chance on someone who has proven to be that player.

But when you think it through, it seems illogical for Poile to make this major move.  First of all, Tarasenko’s recent injury history cannot be overstated, but secondly and more importantly, he is not a fit for what this team is currently trying to accomplish.

The Predators need to get younger and build for the future, and Tarasenko is a player you want if you are trying to win now.  Why would they invest potentially valuable assets into an aging player who very well may walk in two years?

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And while Tarasenko is better than any forward on the Predators, it is worth noting that he has never been able to average a point-per-game in any season and is not in the elite echelon of forwards in the NHL.

Tarasenko is a great player, but he is too old, too injury prone, and not good enough to take the Predators to that next level of teams.  He should not be prioritized by Poile in his offseason plans.