The Blue Jackets Should Try and Enter the Vladimir Tarasenko Sweepstakes

By Sam Blazer on July 9, 2021 at 2:31 pm
St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) looks on against the Minnesota Wild in the first period at Xcel Energy Center.
David Berding - USA Today Sports

The Blue Jackets have been open about their desire to revamp the club and put an entirely new product on the ice this Fall. They have already brought in a new coach and waves are expected if and when the Seth Jones trade goes down.

With all of that being said, this openness allows the Blue Jackets to look far and wide for potential options to shore up the team. Recently, per multiple sources, Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko requested a trade. That opens up a can of worms not only for the Blues for the league as well. Tarasenko is a rare talent and in a flat cap world, the amount of suitors is going to be small and potentially fierce.

So what would be the good and potentially bad things with bringing on a player of his ilk?

The Good

When looking at a player like Tarasenko, what immediately sticks out to you is the offensive skill that he has. He is second to none in the league and likely a top ten forward when healthy. He has had many seasons flirting with a point per game status and this is on a team that is defensively focused in the St. Louis Blues. 

His ability to be a plug-and-play type of player is what should appeal to any team in the league. His shot, skating, and decision-making are some of the best in the league and are a reason why he is coveted. It should also give the Blue Jackets some solace as Tarasenko is a player that was in the Blues organization when John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen were around. They would have not only familiarity but a knowledge base about him that not many executives would have.

Adding to that, other than his most recent season, he has been a player that is a difference-maker possession-wise when on the ice. He tilts the ice in his direction and it allows for the team to dedicate themselves offensively.

The Bad

Tarasenko is rapidly approaching the other side of 30 and unless you are a generational player, father time comes for every single player. Add that to the fact that Tarasenko is coming off of a couple of injury-addled seasons that post Stanley Cup have to worry a team long term. 

For what you may need to give up for him is also going to be an issue. His past may be a tiny more buffed up than what his future holds. He has two years left on his deal and paying for such a short-term contract may not make sense for a club that is potentially in the midst of a rebuild.

How exactly do you grapple between the two pushes. There is a distinct chance they go the rebuild route and this is all for not but it also isn't that often that a superstar that you have familiarity with is available. You have two years and potentially more with him, is the short-term sacrifice potentially worth it if you like the core that you have in place?

There are a lot of different ways that the Blue Jackets can proceed. If they decide to rebuild on the fly, why not make a push for Tarasenko?

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