The NHL’s holiday trade freeze gets put into effect this coming Wednesday and with this date looming the trade market, as we inch towards the league’s Feb. 25 trade deadline, is beginning to stir.
“They had a good win the other day, but the St. Louis Blues continue to be a team that a lot of teams are watching,” said Kypreos. “We know that Doug Armstrong wants to eventually change the make-up of his dressing room. Tarasenko is an interesting topic of discussion. He has a no-trade that kicks in July 1, so there’s a lot of teams that’s interested in seeing what direction [the Blues] want to go.”
With just 28 points on the season the Blues seem destined to finish among the Central Division’s basement dwellers and seeing as Tarasenko is among the NHL’s premier goal scorers he could be an interesting trade chip for a St. Louis team that looks to be in for a rebuild.
“Goal scoring’s at a premium,” added Kypreos. “A team like Carolina, that had [William] Nylander on their watch list up until he signed with Toronto, still remains in the hunt for a goal scorer. At $7.5 million, it’s a lot of money, but it’s not $8.5 or $9 million. He’s going to have four more years left on that contract, it would take a significant trade, but a lot of teams view him as a Phil Kessel type of guy that can come in and be a great supporting cast.”
This season with the Blues, Tarasenko has nine goals and 20 points.
Tarasenko wasn’t the only name the panel mentioned among some of the trade talk Saturday night.
“Andre Burakovsky, the talented Washington Capitals winger who has fallen a little out of favour and has had a little trouble with ice time – tonight he’s sitting out his third straight game as a healthy scratch. His name has been out there on the trade market and one of the teams that’s inquired about him is the Vancouver Canucks,” Johnston said.
Adding to this report, Elliotte Friedman mentioned the Capitals are likely looking for immediate help if they are to flip him.
“I don’t think [the Capitals are] interested in a futures deal,” said Friedman. “If they trade Burakovsky they want someone now.”
This season, the 23-year-old Burakovsky has five goals and eight points in 29 games played.
Like the Blues, the Kings are a struggling team right now and could be looking to start fresh. Off-loading the 33-year-old Carter makes sense but, according to Friedman, any potential suitor for him will need to make sure he’s happy and comfortable with the situation.
“In 2011 you’ll remember [Carter] was traded to Columbus and it didn’t go well,” said Friedman. “He was unhappy, it didn’t work. I think teams who are interested in him with the Kings are being told, ‘If you want to acquire Jeff Carter you’re going to have to work with him to make sure he’s happy with the situation.’
“I don’t think his family wants to leave California, so anyone who is interested is going to have to work with him and make sure he’s happy with the fit to make sure it’s going to work.”