New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello is renowned for never tipping his hand regarding possible trades. Nevertheless, there's speculation he could be among the suitors for St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko.
A day after citing a source decrying the Blues' handling of Tarasenko's trade request, The Athletic's Jeremy Rutherford reports the 29-year-old winger's situation could be affected by their signing of Brandon Saad on Thursday. With Saad coming in for much less than expected, Rutherford wondered if GM Doug Armstrong would be willing to absorb part of Tarasenko's $7.5-million cap hit to facilitate a trade.
The Islanders are believed among Tarasenko's list of preferred trade destinations. They have over $17.6 million in cap space but must re-sign restricted free agents Anthony Beauvillier, Adam Pelech and Ilya Sorokin. They must also re-sign or replace unrestricted free agents Kyle Palmieri and Casey Cizikas.
Lamoriello could have most, if not all, of those players already under contract but hasn't officially announced them yet. If so, perhaps he's waiting to see what's in the trade market to replace departed right wing Jordan Eberle.
If Lamoriello is interested in Tarasenko it will be crucial for the Blues to pick up part of his cap hit. Even then, the Isles GM might have to part with a salaried player or one of his RFAs as part of the return. Rutherford indicated Beauvillier has been mentioned as a trade candidate.