The 32-year-old remained unsigned weeks into free agency last summer after failing to secure a longer-term deal, leading him to make a rare agent change just days after July 1. He eventually inked a one-year, $5MM deal with Ottawa on July 27 with a full no-trade clause.
That clause leaves him in full control of his destiny over the next few weeks. Tarasenko would not confirm Monday if his representation has had conversations with the Senators’ front office about an extension or about waiving the clause.
One would assume if a trade to a contender materializes, assuming it’s an offer Ottawa is willing to accept, Tarasenko would approve the move and spend the next few months hunting for his second Stanley Cup. The 2010 first-round pick notched 11 goals and 17 points in 26 playoff games en route to a championship with the Blues in 2019.
Tarasenko has played good hockey for the Senators this year after an understandably slow start in a new environment, rebounding to post 14 goals (fourth on the team) and 34 points (fifth on the team) in 46 games. He’s currently playing a third-line role at even strength alongside Ridly Greig and Shane Pinto, helping mentor a pair of projected future core pieces in Ottawa. He should net at least a second-round pick should the Senators receive interest from a team Tarasenko is willing to accept a trade to, but he still has value to the team if they choose to keep him around and risk letting him walk to free agency this summer.
Other updates from the Atlantic Division:
- Sabres sophomore defenseman Owen Power left practice with an apparent hand injury on Monday and is undergoing additional imaging, head coach Don Granato said (via Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News). Power’s status for Tuesday’s game against the Kings is now uncertain. The 2021 first-overall pick has seen his point production drop after last season’s third-place Calder Trophy finish, notching two goals and 18 points in 51 games this year, but he’s made up for it by making major strides defensively. He’s been on the ice for 0.74 expected goals against per game at even strength compared to 1.05 last season, per Hockey Reference, all the while seeing a tad more defensive-zone usage than he did in 2022-23. Averaging 22:28 per game, those minutes will be hard for the Sabres to replace if he’s gone for any length of time, especially with Mattias Samuelsson already done for the season after undergoing upper-body surgery. If Power can’t play Tuesday, rookie Ryan Johnson could slide into a top-four role alongside Connor Clifton, while depth defender Jacob Bryson could play for only the sixth time this season.
- Red Wings left winger Robby Fabbri won’t play Tuesday against the Oilers due to personal reasons, according to head coach Derek Lalonde (via Ansar Khan of MLive.com). He is expected to rejoin the team on their road trip before their game in Vancouver on Thursday. The 28-year-old missed significant time early in the season with a lower-body injury but has rebounded to be an important bottom-six contributor for Detroit, posting 13 goals and 21 points in 39 games while logging 13:27 per game. Depth forward Klim Kostin will draw back into the lineup against his former team tomorrow after he was scratched for Saturday’s overtime win over the Canucks.
- Bruins defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk was absent from Monday’s practice due to illness, Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald reports. Shattenkirk, 35, has slipped down the Bruins’ depth chart lately, serving as a healthy scratch in four out of their last seven games in favor of 26-year-old farmhand Parker Wotherspoon. The 2007 first-round pick signed a one-year, $1.05MM deal to join Boston in free agency, and he’s provided some solid two-way play in bottom-pairing minutes with 13 points and a 1.1% relative Corsi share at even strength in 42 games.
- The Bruins also summoned winger Anthony Richard from AHL Providence after sending him down early Monday morning, per the NHL’s media site. The 27-year-old skated on the third line in this morning’s practice and could play his second straight game when the Bruins host the Lightning on Tuesday. The 27-year-old is second on Providence in scoring with 19 goals and 19 assists for 38 points in 41 games.