Vladimir Tarasenko is the one I want to talk about here. Tarasenko has one of the best shots on the roster and the addition of the Russian winger gave the Rangers a threat on the right wing that they had been missing all season. Tarasenko took whatever line he was on to be a genuine triple threat. It was something that the Blueshirts didn’t have the luxury of doing before his arrival.
Tarasenko wanted out of St Louis due to his mistrust of their medical team. It’s no secret that he has dealt with a ton of injuries in the past and the Blues were no longer trusted by the winger to deal with his medical problems. It was one of the forcing factors to his demanding a trade many years ago that the Rangers finally made happen as they bulked up for this deadline. So, is there a reason this endeavor in New York shouldn’t continue?
Well, for one, it looks like the Rangers simply are not going to have room. They have $11 million in cap space with several high-caliber free agents. Tarasenko is likely going to cost the most to bring back because he was simply the most effective in the offensive zone. He’s going to take up a lot of money if the Rangers are going to pay him market value.
Tarasenko makes $7.5 million per year on his current deal. While that isn’t even a particularly high cap hit for his production, let’s assume that comes down due to his age and his injury concerns. Let’s suggest his market value is somewhere between $6 million and $7 million. New York simply cannot afford it. As important of an addition as he would be to this lineup long-term, the money just isn’t there without moving someone like Jacob Trouba.