NHL Rumors: Vladimir Tarasenko trade destinations; Jack Eichel frontrunners; and Canucks shopping Nate Schmidt

jack eichel medical file
Jan 28, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) is congratulated by teammates for scoring a goal against the New York Rangers in the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Vladimir Tarasenko wants out of St. Louis and the Blues are happy to accommodate his request. The 29 year-old has two years left on a deal that comes with a $7.5 million AAV and the ability to control his fate. Thanks to his contract which includes a 10 team trade list protection.

This will hinder the Blues ability to get maximum return, and they may even need to incentivize some teams to take him. Tarasenko is owed $9.5 million in actual salary, so St. Louis is likely going to need to eat some of that to facilitate a move.

NHL Rumors: Potential trade destinations for Vladimir Tarasenko

When trying to discern where Tarasenko will land, two key factors need to be considered. One; is the team a contender and two; what’s that team’s cap situation.

vladimir tarasenko trade destination
Apr 28, 2021; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; 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

Here are three potential ideal landing spots for Tarasenko, but it will require money going back out in order for the deal to work.

  1. The New York Islanders: Talk about a team that needs more offense. They have a little over $5 million in cap space so they will need to send money back to the Blues. Maybe Josh Bailey or Nick Leddy would be in the deal to make it work.
  2. Vegas Golden Knights: The team wants help on the power play and Tarasenko can supply that. Vegas has $6 million in cap space and are talking about trading a goalie to get more. This is one to watch.
  3. Washington Capitals: They will be signing Alexander Ovechkin after the expansion draft takes place and have vowed to take another kick at the Cup. It’s also possible they lose T.J. Oshie in expansion. Tarasenko will be a nice replacement here.

Jack Eichel Frontrunners?

I believe this trade is coming almost as soon as the expansion draft is done. There’s something gnawing at me that the deal may already be agreed to and just waiting until after Seattle announces its team to make it public. Pure speculation, but handshake agreements have been done before.

Regardless, there appears to be several teams involved like the Minnesota Wild and the Vegas Golden Knights. Cap wise, I just don’t see it.

The two frontrunners to land Jack Eichel are the New York Rangers and the Anaheim Ducks. In about two weeks, we will find out.

Canucks shopping Nate Schmidt

The Vancouver Canucks need cap space desperately in order to sign both RFAs Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to new deals. GM Jim Benning needs to also protect against the threat of an offer sheet, but more importantly he wants to lock down the cornerstones of the franchise.

When it comes to finding more money, trading Nate Schmidt is the likely option. The defenseman has four years remaining at $5.95 million AAV and it appears the trade chatter is picking up.

There is always chatter in the Canucks market, but recent speculation about the future of defenceman Nate Schmidt appears to include a fair bit of fire among all the talk-radio smoke. Whether Schmidt has asked out or he and club have simply agreed that the relationship hasn’t worked for either party, the Canucks are exploring potential trade partners for the 29-year-old whose first season in Vancouver was nearly as disappointing for him as it was for his team.

Iain MacIntyre