Well, it's not exactly surprising. With Armstrong predicting a busy offseason throughout the league and the need to send a jolt to his team, the possibility of a trade of Tarasenko had to be on table. It's been talked about in this chat pretty much every week. For those who didn't see it, Frank Seravalli, formerly of TSN in Canada, now on his own, reported yesterday that Tarasenko is on the market and has agreed to waive his no-trade clause for certain teams. I know not the teams, and have nothing to add beyond what Frank reported.
The challenge in this whole thing is going to be what kind of return can the Blues get for Tarasenko. And I don't know what that will be. While there may be teams willing to acquire him, the question will be what are they willing to give up. People talk about Matthew Tkachuk, but trading a young forward for an older forward who has had three shoulder surgeries and has a $7.5 million cap hit seems like a bad move for Calgary. Tarasenko still has the potential to be a 20-plus-goal scorer. His days as a 30-plus goal scorer may well be gone. But it's a crapshoot, and a team acquiring him will be taking a risk. That's why he may be worth more to the Blues than he is to another team. A straight up trade for an equivalent goalscorer seems unlikely. If you start throwing in other players, who knows what's possible.
Would the Blues trade him for a minimal return to open up cap space so they could sign a free agent with that money? They might, but with the flat cap, there won't be a lot of teams able to take on a contract like that, and those that can are probably not very good, and unless Tarasenko has a desire to play in Detroit, those teams may not be on his list.
Going back to early last season, there was talk of the Blues trading Vince Dunn. It never happened. What the Blues were going to get back for Dunn was never worth it to make the trade. That may well be the same thing here. I don't know that the Blues get the return they want to see on a Tarasenko trade. If they do, they should jump on it, because it would not only be a chance to improve the team, but it would be a chance to add some certainty to the situation. Tarasenko will be a question mark going into the season.