In some rather jaw-dropping timing, UFA winger Vladimir Tarasenko has changed his representation just four days into this year’s free agency period. Per Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the 2019 Stanley Cup champion is now represented by J.P. Barry and Pat Brisson of CAA. Because of this, any negotiations Tarasenko had with NHL teams have now been reset, confirming he has no deal in place to join any team with most of his peers already off the market.
One of the best players available (and No. 3 on our list of this year’s UFAs), Tarasenko seemed to be off the market a few days ago. The Athletic’s Shayna Goldman had reported things were close between Tarasenko and the Carolina Hurricanes, which a few other insiders later echoed – although no major developments were later confirmed.
Today, Larry Brooks of the New York Post said Tarasenko had “multiple” offers on the table from NHL teams, including Carolina, ranging between $5.5MM and $6MM per season with various lengths. Tarasenko (and his previous representation, Paul Theofanous) rejected them all, potentially misreading the market after countryman Dmitry Orlov signed a two-year deal with Carolina paying him $7.75MM per season.
However, all signs indicate Carolina is still the likely destination for Tarasenko once negotiations re-start and a deal gets hammered out. The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta speculates it’ll be a one-year deal at this stage, with Tarasenko likely looking to get more money in a less rigid cap environment a year from now, although he will be 32 years old by then.
With Carolina down to $4.5MM in cap space (per CapFriendly), plus the impending Tony DeAngelo acquisition on Saturday, Pagnotta notes defenseman Brett Pesce is still on the trade market without an extension past this season. He names the Nashville Predators as a team involved in Pesce trade talks, although the 28-year-old could block a trade if he leaves Nashville off his 15-team “yes”-trade list.